So, excuses first, best to get 'em out of the way. I slept badly in a strange hotel room. I ate dinner very late and it didn't sit well on my tummy. Breakfast was too close to the race start and I thought I was gonna vomit for the first 7 miles. The course was more than merely 'undulating'. It was pretty windy even on the flat. I felt sick (did I mention that already?!). I wasn't quite HM ready. There. Loads of 'em. But, the Nottingham Half Marathon was absolutely fab!
I had a great time last night with fellow team mates, a nice and relaxed pre-race meal, lots of laughs, running stories and awesome tales from those around the table with team GB vests to boast of. Team Manager Darran was a star; very organised, and a sparkling host at dinner. After a bit of a stressy drive from the hotel, negotiating the thousands of cars for this massive event, we had just under an hour to pick up our kit and numbers and get warmed up. My brekkie was threatening to return - I think I got carried away with the 'free' food, I can never quite hold back in 'all you can eat' situations...
The race had a rousing start as we strutted our stuff in our regional vests, with drumming on the sidelines to kick off the race. I felt like a Yorkshire warrior and a tear filled my eye. We were soon off and after the first mile I knew quickly this wasn't a day for a PB. The course seemed to go up, then even more up with a bit of down and more up. The wheelchair racers were rolling backwards struggling on the climbs. It was windy on the flats and with very few runners to draft behind I found myself running alone as second lady behind a Kenyan who was nowhere in sight. Though this course was a toughie the race was amazing with the crowds providing fantastic support - I felt like a celebrity and was lifted by every cheer. I think I snuck under 80mins though only just but was first domestic lady home and first for the Inter Regional Champs.
Team mates also had great runs with Robyn having a stormer in preparation for the Snowdon Marathon in a few weeks time and Erika bringing the team home all under the 90 minute mark. I think we might have team silver but need to confirm as the presentation organisation was a shambles - I heard it on the tannoy as we ran frantically from tent to tent only to hear my name and prize and no me there to enjoy it. The Yorkshire boys also did good, Darran Bilton 4th, Ian Fisher 7th and Mike Burrett 11th, also picking up team gold. It was a great team effort for the region and impressive runs for our poorly soldiers Ian and Mike, one with a dodgy tum the other with the sniffles. A proud day to be a Yorkshire lass. Official report here. More pics to follow...Oh, and did I mention I won 500 smackaroonies? Second lady and quids in. Woohoo!
P.s. More good news, M had a great run today, taking a whopping 10mins off his time at the Yorkshireman off-road HM (which is actually 14.8 miles - yes, don't ask!). A better quality field this year by the sounds but he still scooped a top 10 spot. I think this might deserve a curry treat tonight. My treat of course ; )