The WHM was my second Half ever.
I’d done plenty of training and used a 10 week Strava training plan. I hadn’t got all the training sessions but felt I was well prepared.
My aim was to finish the race, but I also really hoped to better my previous HM time of 1:40:06 at the Big Half London.
The morning of the race bought the normal nerves, butterflies and conversation of
‘why do I sign up for races?’
Route to the race was easy enough. Traffic heavy for the car parks but having family locally meant I had an easy option. We parked up locally and walked to the park. By We I mean my wife and all 4 kids. This was the first time they had witnessed me running and the idea that they were there to support me was an extra boost for me. I’d been keen to show them what I’ve achieved first hand for a while!
‘why do I sign up for races?’
Temperature wise was good. Bit cool but I knew I’d be warming up pretty quickly!
I had entered as a sub 1:45 runner so got into the starting pen accordingly and was quite close to the front 🙂
The race start was quick to come and when the air horn blew we set off with Windsor castle behind us and headed uphill to the Copper Horse statue.
The Windsor HM is a two lap race with a good few up and downs. The track is good quality footpath through parkland and wooded sections.
There are good water stations around and because of the two lap route you pass at least 5.
If you are familiar with Windsor you will know the park as being a very pretty place to walk and it’s a lovely place to run. A great setting and a joy to run through.
In reality I set out to run an average 4:35/km and over most of the Race was at 4:24/km. Probably a bit hard for me for the distance and with the uphill sections this was bound to drop off.
The elevation profile shows the nature of this run, it’s undulating at best!
You can also see the extent of the route on the Strava map.
Overall my first half was quickest and during the second lap I developed a bit of right thigh discomfort. This is think was likely to be due to the pace I was trying to hit and the uphill sections being a good test!
As you get to the final turn of the race you turn to head back towards the start line. What is deceptive at that point is the distance remaining. It’s a lot longer than it looks. The long walk is long by name and long by nature!!
I threw everything into the final section and just before the finish line I got to see the family cheering me on, a real adrenaline shot, and actually quite emotional.
I’ve always been proud of my family and I think seeing their dad/husband achieve a good HM finish turned the tables. My 15 month journey to this point has been a lot of work and in that moment they got it and I was the one that was achieving something others wanted to say they were proud of – lump in throat time !!
Overall the experience was great. My Strava time showed a bunch of PR times and overall:
Happy with that. A good day on the running job and many more to come. Well done to everyone that took part.