Brett Ashford 1/2 Marathon 2014

The proof is in the medal!
Its been a while since I've written anything about my running, and this is actually an overdue post/report on my first 1/2 marathon race in as long as I can remember. This was the Brett Ashford 1/2 Marathon, which took place on the 30 November 2014.

Significantly this was also Gravesend Road Runners 1/2 Marathon championship race, this meant anyone taking part could potentially win the 1/2 Marathon championship cup, in the interests of fairness it was a handicap race, so everyone had an equal chance of winning. As it happens I came last out of five Gravesend Road Runners when taking the handicap into account, but I wasn't looking to win, just to complete my first 1/2 Marathon for some time.

Now to the race itself, the first thing to say is that this is a two lap 1/2 Marathon race which starts and finishes at the Julie Rose Stadium in Ashford. This is quite nice as you get some crowds, both when you start and naturally when you finish. You also pass through the stadium at the beginning of your second lap. Now on to the not so good, the course is two laps which means anything you didn't like about the first lap you get to experience all over again and unfortunately there was much not to like about the first lap. This was because the majority of the lap was spent sploshing through a serious amount of mud.

Now I have nothing against running through mud, but this wasn't supposed to be a Tough Mudder or Grim Reaper type of course, but it felt like it and as a result I was delighted not to have stacked it at least once on the first or second laps when trying to traverse the mud. There was some however some great support on the course and plenty of food and drink to keep the runners going!

So what about my time? Well this was the first 1/2 Marathon I'd run wearing a Garmin, which I think definitely helped, although looking at my splits below you'll see how much the mud affected me!

Mile 1 - 7:46
Mile 2 - 15:46
Mile 3 - 23:21
Mile 4 - 31:16
Mile 5 - 38:57
Mile 6 - 46:23
Mile 7 - 54:41
Mile 8 - 1:03:14
Mile 9 - 1:11:30
Mile 10 - 1:19:14
Mile 11 - 1:28:28
Mile 12 - 1:36:40
Mile 13 - 1:45:20

Final finishing time 1:46:36

So not too bad and I'm ALWAYS happy with a sub 1:50 1/2 Marathon, but the mud definitely took its toll in the second 1/2 of the race!

Overall this was a great race, but if it rains in the weeks before the race, then you should prepare yourself for a mud-fest!