Deal Half Marathon 2024

Near the start line. Sadly Tilman wasn’t allowed to run.

As far as training goes, am fairly erratic on a day to day, or even a week to week basis, but on a yearly basis I am as regular as clockwork. “Consistency is Key!” is drummed into us by Ryan French who runs the excellent Military Outdoor Fitness group on Blackheath. Whether turning up for the Deal Half Marathon every year since 2014 counts as consistency, I am not sure.

Here we are in 2024, back on the start line ready for this pleasant jog through the Kent countryside.

What a strange thing. All the weather forecasts insisted it would rain all day but not a drop did fall. The sun even came out and I got quite warm on the hills. I’ve given up on getting a good time. I will never beat my 2015 time of 1 hour 44 minutes 43 seconds so why bust a gut? The idea nowadays is to get around in a semi-respectable time with no injuries. That is a good result for me.

The route

So why is Deal one of our favourite races? Mainly because our friend Philip lives nearby and it’s a great chance to catch up and natter about sailing plans for the year. But the race itself is friendly, well organised, not too expensive and it starts at 10:30 so we can enjoy an unrushed breakfast.

Outside The Pines Garden Tearoom and Museum

After the race we go for a blow out Sunday roast and this year Philip and Sarah chose The Pines Museum in St Margaret’s Bay. What a great find. Excellent food served in a slightly quirky venue, and it is just a short stroll down to the beach.

Philip and Sarah in St Margaret’s Bay. You can faintly see a swimmer behind them

It was rather tempting to go for a dip. Next year I shall bring my swimming gear and see if I dare!

A massive thanks to Philip and Sarah for looking after us so well and to all those volunteers who cheered us along the half marathon route.

Oh yes, the time – 2 hours 12 minutes 27 seconds. My slowest so far, but not a total disgrace.

Next up is the dreaded Steyning Stinger on 5th March – Gulp!

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