A Journey of a 1000 miles starts with a single step
Swindon Half Marathon 2014
A group of us from work entered the Swindon Half Marathon this year. Two of them had been coming to my lunchtime running sessions.
As well as my work colleagues, a couple of friends from Cambridge had come over to experience a hillier route than they have in Cambridgeshire. We arrived in plenty of time for the start, which may have been a bit too early with the misty cool conditions. At least there was not any wind so once we got started, we would not remain cool for too long. We met with the other 4 from work before the start, unfortunately one of the people who had been doing the lunchtime training had suffered from a non-running injury that meant he would not be taking part.
We dispersed through the runners at the start. A marshal had said that were 1200 runners, it looked fewer than that to me.The start was initially a gentle uphill from Nationwide for 500m or so then was predominently downhill or flat for the next 3 miles. At the 3 mile point we crossed over the M4 before starting the climb through Badbury.
I had started at a pace that I felt confident that I could maintain. I was recording my mile splits, not to check while I was running but so that I could see how consistent my mile times were when I had finished and see if I had indeed managed to maintain my pace.
On the rise up through Badbury I passed a few people who were walking up the hill which then levelled out but was still generally rising. As we crested the hill out of Badbury we could see the route of to the left across the front of Liddington Castle, with a trail of brightly coloured running tops through the remaining light mist.
The halfway point was also the highest point of the route, so all downhill from there... Not quite, there were still a few short uphill sections going through Wanborough before re-joining the outward route and following the gradual uphill route back into Nationwide. This has one steeper part going past the Shell Filing station after Coate Water.
The finish was downhill to Nationwide, so an opportunity to shave off those fractions of a second that are so important.
Finishing in 1:45.44
Most or our group had a good run, and enjoyed the closed trafic free roads although I later heard that these had been closed the day before. This part I do not understand, it does not seem necessary.
Mile splits, last split is 1.1 miles: