"} Get a life, Get active! By Fit Lesley: January 1999

Tuesday, 5 January 1999

Challenge 29 - Central Lancashire New Year Half Marathon - January 2014

Today, Sunday the 5th January 2014 I ran in the Central Lancashire Half Marathon. The route goes around the edge of Preston, taking in the rural North West edge of the city.

I can't say I was looking forward to it - 13.1 miles carrying extra crimbo pounds after a fortnights alcohol and food binge but hey ho it's good to detox.

This was my first race of the year and also my first race for Haddie! 

Haddie had said her favourite colours were purple and red so I opted to wear a purple top in her honour and made a bib to pin on the back of my T Shirt to remind me she was right behind me - literally! 

Although this was the 6th annual Central Lancashire New Year Half Marathon this year it had a new route! Apparently the old starting venue could not cater for the increase in numbers so they moved it to a more central location with better facilities.  This is my first year running this race so I have nothing to compare it to however it did say 80% of the previous route remained the same going through the lanes of Catforth, Inskip and Treals. 

I was running with 2 friends and we left Kendal at around 8:15am for the 44 mile journey to the start at St Marys Catholic 
Primary School in Lea Town, near Preston. The weather forecast earlier in the week hadn't looked good but we were lucky on the day that the rain held off although it was chilly and windy!

After a quiet journey on the motorway we arrived at around 9.15am but struggled to park. The race information stated there was adequate parking available but we didn't agree! After cruising the streets we eventually parked on a street kerb and then made our way to the race HQ in the school hall to collect our race numbers.

There was no queues and we were quickly through but then found ourselves lining up for loo's! 

The race was advertised as a chip timed event and I was disappointed to discover that this was incorrect, I have no idea why unless the increase in numbers made it difficult to chip. I would have liked to have been informed.

We just had time to relieve ourselves, head back to the car in order to strip off our many layers of outer garments before shivering our way to the start line.  

We arrived at the start with just minutes to spare, which considering how cold it was was probably a good thing!!

We said our Good Lucks and fond farewells to each other and then we were off.

It was a fairly flat route on quiet rural roads through picturesque villages and small hamlets. The course was well signed and marshaled all the way around.  We passed through Catforth, Inskip and Salwick and went over a couple of motorway bridges but other than that I can't give you much more detail! 

My first mile had been an incredibly fast one (for me) at a 8:10 minute mile, followed by mile 2 @ 8:26, mile 3 @ 8:46 and mile 4 @8:41.

The first water station was at approximately 5 miles which thankfully had bottled water so I took the opportunity to have an energy gel.  

However instead of boosting me it seemed to have the opposite effect and my miles slowed!  I knew I would be unable to sustain this pace for the full distance!

So ... mile 5 I did @ 9:02 minute mile, mile 6 @ 9:06, mile 7 @ 9:26, mile 8 @ 9.42m, mile 9 @ 9:44.

At this point I came across another drink station so another gel was consumed washed down with more water and I was soon on my way again!

By now I was really suffering from the effects of the Christmas binge and my pace was getting S l o w e r! 

Mile 10 was my slowest of the race @ 10:12, mile 11 @ 9:45, mile 12 @ 9:51 and finally mile 13 @ 9:50!

I was delighted to see the finish line and tried to do a bit of a sprint but in reality I obviously didn't! 

My final time according to Garmin was 2:01:15, my time according to officialdom was 2:01:30.  The results can be viewed here and my Garmin can be viewed here!

After crossing the finish line I was handed a rather nice medal, a banana, bottle of water and a Wagon Wheel! 

Sue, one of my friends had already finished in 1:57 and was waiting for me.  To keep warm we went into the school hall to wait for our other friend Julia.

Once in the hall there were people giving massages, running clothes being sold, bacon butties and hot drinks also on sale - it was all happening!  

Unfortunately all our money was in Julia's car and she had the keys so we just had to sit and ogle! 

Julia finished in around 2:25 which was a good achievement as it was her first half marathon! 

A man dressed as a lion had actually got the world record for running a Half Marathon in fancy dress coming in at 1:24:15! Amazing achievement!

We dashed back to the car to get our layers back on as we were all starting to shiver. Just as we got there the heavens opened and the rain came down!  How lucky were we?!

All in all a great way to start the year!