Jedburgh Half Marathon

Date: 30-Oct-11. Time: 2:07:10

Jedburgh doesn't feature high on my ‘places to visit’ as there seems to be less than nothing to do there, but as a venue to host a half marathon, it ticks all of the boxes with the scenery, crowd support (start and finish mainly with a few clumps of people around the route), medal, goody bag and  hanging/showering facilities.
This was my third stab at the Jedburgh Half Marathon and as this is a fairly hilly course in places and is prone to the wind I was never going to plan a PB challenge but the night before I had a rethink and threw caution to wind and planned a PB shot.
It might have been Sarah at Wallsend Harriers who mentioned that she wrote down her split times on her arm on the advice of Terry. So with the aid of a pencil, paper and an abacus I worked out what time I should hit 3.3, 6.6 and 10 miles.
I arrived well before the 11 o’clock start giving me ample opportunity to change, stretch the legs and more importantly have a couple a brews.
With the aid of a permanent pen I adorned my arm with a new tattoo. With splits and pace scribed on my arm, I got changed and made my way to the start area.
As Jedburgh is in Scotlandshire, at 10:50 a bunch of men wearing skirts blowing into a big bag which makes a horrendous screeching noise marched us to the start line. Once the men in skirts had moved over; we were off!
The first mile is through the metropolis of Jedburgh which, as in previous years, is well supported.
I have never been passed by as many runners before during the first half mile. I started about mid field but was passed by easily 40 runners. I stuck to my guns and stayed on pace, joyful in the fact that soon enough I would be passing the poor fools on the first hill…and I did.
The first 4 miles is undulating but it soon flattens out. Then it’s a case of getting the head down and getting stuck in.
Checking my tattoo at 6.6 miles showed me as exactly 3 minutes up on what I should be doing. But I knew there’s an arse of a hill at mile 10 and there’s a good long section of just under 2 miles with a guaranteed head wind so I carried on with the current pace.
It wasn't long before I started the long windy bit. From 7.5 to around 9 miles there’s a long stretch which in a strange way I enjoy.
The reason is, a hell of a lot of people slow right down or walk as the wind coupled with a steady incline tires people out. (It’s not exactly steep though; think of the John Reed Road in the GNR)
I had the bit between my teeth and enjoyed passing them, ticking them off one by one which was just as well as not soon after, the wheels didn't fall off my wagon but there was a definite wheel wobble!
From around 9 and half miles I found it a struggle. A previous injury was forcing me to stop and stretch a couple of time losing valuable time. My pace also took a hit (I apologise to those around as I was cursing a tad bit as my PB shot seemed to be crumbling)
Now I have a question for you.
Ten miles into a half marathon what would you like to see?
If you’re a Sunderland Harrier a bus would be the preferred choice but how
about a couple of jelly babies? A glug of Lucozade? An energy gel?
How would you like a hill as steep as Rosehill Bank and a tad bit longer?
No, me neither but that’s what there was at 10.5 miles.
I ran up half and power walked the remainder, making best of my niggle.
The final 2 miles are pretty flat which was such a relief. However I really hope there wasn't a photographer at any point during the final 2 miles as I would have looked like a grimacing fool.
At mile 9 it looked like I might get under my PB by a massive 3 mins but it was now going to be as close as a close thing.
My previous PB was set 2 year ago on a very flat and PB friendly course in York (Brass Monkey) at 2:07:36 and today I salvaged a PB with 2:07:10.

Considering I was planning for a plod the fact that I got a PB on this course feels really good. It stands me in good stead for January when I go for a sub 2 hour time at the very flat Brass Monkey.
I'm not too concerned about my returning niggle as I reckon it was just due to the distance at a higher pace than I've been used to recently. A good few long runs should get me in tip top condition for the Brass!

Date: 25-Oct-09.  Time: 2:12:12

I didn’t know how long it would take to get to Jedburgh so I left pretty early.  I pitched up at 8:30!! Way before even the organisers!
It wasn’t all bad though as there was a nice little coffee shop so I hydrated with a couple of pots of tea.
A nice relaxing way to start a half marathon.:)
As ever, I started off too quick, but as ever, I thought, what the hell lets carry on and see what happens.
The first few hills were short and sharp but ok.
Once the 10k runners peeled off I got into a nice stride, the wind from behind was a nice little boost but I knew it wouldn’t be so kind later on.
I blew up around 8 miles in the GNR but today I felt really good.
Call me a crazy fool, but I felt real good turning into the wind.
Up ahead a lot of people were slowing down and seemed to struggle in the wind but for the next 2-3 miles I stopped thinking about pace, distance and the weather etc and focused on the feet of the runner ahead of me until I caught up and passed them, then done it to the next runner.
I knew there was a hill around 10 miles and sure enough it appeared, I think it was closer to 11 miles.
I decided to run half way and walk the last half.
A PB was definatly on the cards and even posibley a sub 2:10 which would have been amazing.
BUT….dear god, I don’t know if it was because I started to walk but both of my hamstrings were in agony by the top of the hill. They weren’t cramping just very tight and extremely hard.
2:10 was looking out of reach but I knew a PB was on, so I literally gritted my teeth and crossed the line in 2:12:12.

New PB by 5 minutes and 12 seconds. 

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