This early February Half Marathon is becoming a bit of a fixture for me. Partly because my friend Philip lives in Deal and its a great chance to catch up in the winter -in the summer our Vertue Yachts often sail together on the East Coat. It is also well placed as a training run for the dreaded Steyning Stinger which takes place in early March. The Deal run isn’t as hilly as the Stinger and it is on roads but it still acts as a useful gauge of fitness. However its a grand run in its own right. Its non-commercial, dare I say cheap to enter (I hope they don’t think of hiking it up because of my poorly guarded comment). It is very well organised with loads of marshals and very friendly all round. There are even loos en route which is a first for me.
Neil Renault came first with a very impressive 1 hour 11 minutes which was so fast the lead bikes struggled to keep up on the hills! Sadly I struggled in after 1 hour 50 minutes 46 seconds which was well below my PB of 1 hour 43 for the route. I looked pretty knackered too! Two things contributed to my poor time, one was insufficient long training runs. I hadn’t run the full distance for many months although I had done quite a few 10 milers. Interestingly it was at ten or eleven miles that I run out of puff. The second excuse, and its a good one, is my continuing problem with my right leg caused by a dodgy piriformus which I tore in September and is still playing up. It makes me run with a very slight limp and seems to reduce my power. I’ve been having a bit of physio and even acupuncture but it is taking a while to heel. I believe it could have been aggravated by a broken bike saddle. As I cycle for about 1 hour 30 minutes every day my old lopsided saddle was probably of no help. Strangely it hurts most when I try to drive which I have now had to restrict to 10 minute journeys.
After the race Philip and I headed of for a slap up meal in the only pub which wasn’t fully booked. So the lesson for next time is to book the pub lunch several weeks in advance! Oh well, Steyning Stinger next – gulp, I’m going to be thrashed.