A Journey of a 1000 miles starts with a single step

Chippenham Half Marathon - Sept 2008 Chippenham Half Marathon 2008

It was a cool and foggy morning as I cycled the 7 miles to the start in Chippenham, but there was no wind and it promised to be a good day for a race.

The 7 miles took around 30 minutes because I didn't want to burn myself out just getting to the race
I got changed in the facilies (tent) and walked around a bit because I didn't want to get too cold before the start. It was not cold but cool.
In my walking around I approached BBC Wiltshire to see if I could borrow a phone to call Janet as my phone battery was flat. It turned out to be Annie who I had met before when being interviewed about my Headway fund raising activities and why I raise funds for Headway. Her colleague, Mark, was recording pieces from runners so I did an interview with him in return for borrowing the phone.
After the race briefing was held I then was interviewed by Annie about my Headway activities and told her that my expected time was just over an hour - 40 minutes over the hour!
Just over 1000 people lined up at the start, it was warmer in the crowd. I lined up in the 1:45-1:50 group which I was sure would mean that I would be passing some of the people. The race started with a shuffle walk until the field had spread, about 15 seconds where I was. The roads were wide enough for unobstructed running from then on, no bottlenecks in the part of the field that I was running in.
After running through Chippenham we turned into the lanes through Stanley, Tytheringon Lucas and East Tytherton. Someone running beside me said 'at this pace we'll be finished in 50 min, we're about half way'.
I was pacing myself using a heart rate monitor and running at 95% max HR, I was at the 8 mile point at 1:00 so my pace for these 8 miles was 7:30 minute miles. I speeded up to 97-98% max HR to try to finish the last 5 miles faster.

Running strongly at about 8 miles

I felt I was going quite strongly, few runners pased me in these last 4-5 miles, but there was a group of 3 Avon Valley Runners just ahead of me who stayed in front of me until the last 1/4 mile.
My finishing time of 1:39.03 was a PB by a few seconds so I am quite pleased with the race, although it would have been nice to be 4 seconds faster to get under 1:39... next year maybe.
Janet had cycled to see me finish, so we had some of the chilli that was on sale as a snack before we cycled home. A quick check of the results before we left showed that I had finished in the first 300 of the 1000 field, so better than the 'about halfway' that I normally seem to do.