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In 2002 i ruptured my ACL and MCL playing football and was told i would not be having an op on the NHS and could never play again (along with many other things!)... After doing some freeride / downhill MTB'ing for a couple of years, I starting to swim again in August 07 and thought, i cycle, i swim...all i need to do is run a about earning a little money for charity and sign up for the London Oly! I went on to enjoy my first season in tri so much I have done a 2nd, gone sub 2:30 for an Olympic distance got round an ironman and am still going!
When not training I can be seen at the Boleyn Ground being a long suffering season ticket holder at the 1966 World cup winners West Ham Rolling Eyes
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All about hammerer

Joined: 19 Nov 2007
Location: Right Next Door To Hell

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Tunbridge Wells Half Marathon 24th Feb 2013
Tue Feb 26, 2013 3:17 pm hammerer
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I awoke on Sunday to a bitterly cold morning ready for an early season half marathon that was going to be a big test of my winters work and a way to see how close I am to marathon fitness for Aprils tests. The weather was concerning me though as I was in two minds what to wear. Unusual for me as all winter I race in singlet and shorts, but this wasnít a 10k cross country race and Iíd be out there for not far off 2hours. If I felt cold at 6 miles I was stuck, but again I know how hot I can get. I made a decision to go with a long sleeved running shirt, which is singlet material with long sleeves. Queuing for the porta potties was bitterly cold as was walking to the start and I was wondering at this point if I was underdressed. I wanted to go with the 1:50 pacers and go for a sub 1:50, but I wasnít sure if the conditions and what was supposed to be a seriously tough course was the best place to attempt a 5minute P.B, currently sitting at 1:54:17 set just 5 months earlier.
After weaving past the 1:50 pacers to half way between them and the 1:40 pacers at the start the gun went off, and the aim was to stay in front of the 1:50 pacers as long as possible and then, when caught, hang on for dear life. I started well and felt ok once going. The first mile was mildly undulating and I went through mile one in 7:53, a nice relaxed start. The second mile was much the same with a bit more down and up and I had now settled but started to get very warm. I went through 2 miles in 7:54 and rolled up my sleeves! OK I knew the first 5 miles of the course was a negative incline so had to be fast and so it proved by going through the next three miles in 7:49, 7:39 and 7:44. Now thatís 5 miles down and the fun will begin. We have a half a mile climb not long after here followed by a climb of a mile and half, both quite steep. The first climb doesnít really phase me, the winters cross country paying dividends, and the countryside giving me something to take any thoughts of pain or over heating away. I have a drink at the 6mile aid station, just a sip or two of water, and get ready for the next big climb. I have gone through 6miles in 8:33, and hit halfway in a touch under 52minutes. Not bad at all. Thatís sub 50 10k to start!
After half way is the start of the big climb, winter hill. I go up here quite well and am passing a lot of people, feeling strong and not too concerned about overdoing it. I have a quick pee stop and go through the next 2 miles in 8:46 and 9:16 due to the break. Without the break I am sub 9min/miles up hill. I am very pleased with this. I crest the hill and think itís time for a rest but as I find out the course stays undulating. The downs are causing my quads to start to hurt a little now and itís the 8-9 mile mental barrier that I always seem to get. It seems a long way to go. I have some more water. Just a sip again as Iím still rather warm and press on, but now Iím struggling. The pace is dropping and mile 9 is only 8:18, 30seconds down on the earlier miles pre big hills! I am keeping my eyes on runners near me though and this is focussing me and I seem to be climbing better than most but losing time on the down hills. Something I seem to suffer with at Cross Country also. The route then goes round an estate to add a few hundred yards and here I get caught and take a big tumble. Iím helped up and feel fine although my toe took a bashing. My hands were scuffed and I thought I was going to suffer now. The toe hurt, but I pushed on and Mile 10 comes in 8:17 when I am joined by two girls from my club who have caught me. Iím surprised to see them but they had started slowly as they were building through the race, rather than my tactic of going out hard and seeing how far I could go! This seemed to spur me on though and take away any thoughts of pain. I looked at my watch and looked like Id need a sub 23min last 5k to break chance I thought, but what a change of mindset. I was thinking of a P.B. and just trying to hold the sub 1:50 pacers as long as possible and now two miles from home Iím looking at a sub 1:45. This spurred me on and I pushed to hold them and went through mile 11 in 7:25. Maybe too fast and it could hurt me but also means thereís a chance still of the sub 1:45. Unfortunately I couldnít carry on at this pace and mile twelve which was undulating had me lose the chance again, lose contact with the girls and only run 7:56. The fact Iím saying only 7:56 speaks volumes about how far Iíve come!
Into the last mile, the legs are going and Iíve now got a stitch. Where the ell that came from Iíll never know, but it appears to have happened to another club mate at the same point. Maybe the headwind and hills, no one knows. When this final mile is a real drag, hard work and the turn into the finish line seems to take forever to come. I go through mile 13 in a not too bad 7:55 in the end and turn to the finish, but canít muster a sprint. I feel sick as I cross the line and notice the clock says 1:46. Wow, a missive P.B., nearly 8 minutes abut as I bend down I notice claret everywhere Laughing my knees look in bad shape. Thankfully after a quick clean its just a graxe on each, they jsut looked a mess due to runnign 3 miles without cleanign them Wink In my sick, blood ridden and tired haze I forget to stop my Garmin which later comes back to haunt me as
later it transpires Iím one of the hundreds of unfortunate souls whose chips have failed due to the ďextremeĒ temperatures. Not the clubs fault but it was hardly cold and seems a poor excuse by the timing company, but after video footage was studied Iíve got a gun time of 1:46:56. A great time but slightly disappointing as it should be 1:45:** s I went through 13miles in 1:45:16. I finished in 712/2074 finishers. Top 35%!
On reflection this was a very well run event by Tunbridge Wells Harriers, their 30th edition! The marshals were exceptional in bitterly cold and tough conditions and it canít have been the most enjoyable morning for them. Oh and a 7:21 official P.B. that would have been nearer 8mins had it not been for technical issues. Not bad for a mornings work and looking good for the spring marathons and triathlon season Cool

Edit a chip time of 1:46:44 has been awarded

~   Last edited by hammerer on Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:36 pm; edited 2 times in total
Tue Feb 26, 2013 4:27 pm twhat
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Nice work mate..1m30s improvement per month eh? Tidy! Good luck with the marathon..... maybe dont go with the 'go out fast and hang on' policy though eh? Very Happy
Tue Feb 26, 2013 4:55 pm pip
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Great work on the PB
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2018 schedule
4th March - The Big Half Report
2015 Schedule
15/16th Aug Midnightman Report
2014 Schedule
2nd Mar - Tunbridge Wells Half Marathon Report

13th Apr - VMLM Report

27th Apr - 7oaks tri Report

22nd Jun - Bridge Tri Report

13th July - The Bastion Report

Championship XC

25th Jan - Southern XC Champs Report
2013 Schedule
24th Feb - Tunbridge Wells Half Marathon Report
21st Apr - VLM
28th Apr - 7oaks Tri
23rd Jun - Bridge Tri Report
14th Jul - Cowman
21st Jul - National Lottery Run Report
27/28th Jul - Midnightman Report
22nd Sep - Tonbridge Half Mara Report

Championship XC

5th Jan - KCAA XC Champs Report
2012 Schedule
7th May - Tonbridge sprint
17th Aug - Half Midnightman Report
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Kent XC League

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Championship XC

7th Jan KCAA XC Champs - Report

17th Nov London XC Champs - Parliament hill Report
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29th Jan - SEAA XC Champs (15km) - Report
20th Feb Kentish Killer sportive 73miles - DNS
27th Feb Tunbridge wells half mara - DNS
10th Apr 7oaks tri - Report
17th Apr VLM Report
2nd May Tonbridge Sprint Report
26th Jun Forestman Report
7th Aug Hyde Park Oly Report
25th Sep Tonbridge Half Mara report

Kent XC league

8th October Race 1 - New Barn Park -report
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2010 Schedule
21st Mar - Reading 1/2 mara - DNS
18th Apr - 7oaks sprint - Report
30th May - Austria 70.3 - Report
13th Jun - Windsor Oly - Report
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26th Sep - Run to the beat 1/2 mara Report

Kent XC league

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23rd Oct - Round 2 Tonbridge Report
2009 Schedule
19 Apr - 7oaks - Report
17 May - Eton - Report
7 Jun - Blenheim - DNS
14 Jun - Windsor - Report
2 Aug - London - Report
16 Aug - Dextro Energy Tri -Report
20 Sep - 7Oaks - Report
2008 Schedule
18th May - Eton Sprint

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20th July - Bananaman 3/4

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