Linda Reviews the Droitwich Half

This race was postponed from March due to flooding and it has proved ideal as a target for me to get my fitness back after 3 months of enforced inactivity over the summer! I loved the 12 noon start time, allowing leisurely preparation.  Keith and I, and Amanda were the 3 representative club members, travelling together.

En route I realised I had left my Garmin charging in the kitchen!  Amanda is a keen believer in running by feel and gave me confidence to approach this positively – a PB was completely unrealistic and I hoped to just run a steady pace between 10 and 10.30 min/mi and enjoy it.

Transport between the car park and start was well organised, and with a field of under 300 runners, the Start area was small and friendly, and we could keep our warm tops on until the last minute.  Although it wasn’t that cold, there were a few spots of rain about.  I was chatting as we lined up and suddenly realised we were off.

What a lovely course – a single lap around gently undulating quiet country lanes, with all junctions/corners efficiently manned by encouraging marshals.  I settled unusually quickly into a comfortable pace, although a check against my ordinary watch at the first couple of mile markers confirmed my feeling that I probably ought to slow my pace slightly if I was to last the distance.

A couple of chaps a way in front unwittingly became my pacers for the next few miles.  I caught up with them eventually and ran with both of them for another couple of miles, with Colin (I only discovered his name afterwards!) and I chatting, albeit only a very few words at a time!

We lost the quiet chap (he was struggling – no breathe to spare for chat).  I was feeling good, and busy convincing Colin he could keep the pace going all the way and get a convincing PB.  At mile 11 Colin started to believe me, and for the last mile the roles were reversed as he then pulled me along!

He got a PB by 6 mins, and I was delighted to finish in 2:11 having managed a steady 10 min/mi all the way. I am happy I ran the best I possibly could.  An instant printout told me I was second in my age category – wow – but then I found there were only two in it!

Amanda and Keith cheered me over the line, Keith being very happy with 1:49. Amanda ran an amazing time of 1:28 despite lack of training due to recent injury – well done Amanda.

We collected water, sandwiches and a T-shirt, and Amanda was presented with her prize, then the rain started in earnest.

There had been a few ’spits and spots’ during the race, but by the time we were back to our car the heavens opened and it was totally torrential on the motorway home.  A cup of tea in a hot bath was absolute bliss!

I thoroughly recommend this race.  It sells out quickly for good reason.