Vitality North London & Reading Half Marathons

As many of you will have seen I recently took part in both the Vitality North London & Reading Half Marathons. I thought I would just write a quick blog to summarise how these events went and let you know how I found them.

The North London Half was what I would consider my first big event of 2015. I have run a few 10ks and did the Richmond Old Deer Park Half in February but the number of runners in these events was relatively small. In total 4,713 people finished the North London Half. In comparison to Reading which had over 13,000 runners it was still pretty small but that’s due to it being the first year of the event. 

Due to running the Old Deer Park Half in 1:21:21 I knew I was in good shape going into this event. I had a good feeling that I would get close to sub 80 mins but hadn’t done any real research on the route so was a little surprised when there were a few ups and downs. I went out at a pace that would comfortably get me sub 80 (a pace I’m not used to running at!!) and then just tried to hold onto it in the last few miles. It was strange running at this pace as the majority of the miles I do are closer to 7 min/mile+ but I felt ok as I had a good couple rest days and a nice short run at the Ashmei Ambassadors day in the lead up.

  

Here you can see my splits from the race. I’m happy with how it went considering the undulating course and squeezed in sub 80 mins finishing with a PB time of 79:27 in 29th position.

Another reason I think this race went well is because I was relaxed. On the morning of the event I met up with a former colleague Amy @AmyJayneHughes to travel to the start. We were busy chatting about running and things so I think I basically forgot to get nervous about the race. She also had a great run, well done Amy! and is now gearing up for the London Marathon. Good luck sure you will smash it! 

 

The event was really well run (pun intended!) and I will probably be back next year as long as my growing race calendar allows it. Here you can see my somewhat lacklustre sprint finish!! 

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10205294514355387

Right, onto Reading! The week between North London and Reading I ran a fair bit through work and just because I wanted to. I did rest up on Friday and Saturday though just running a couple miles Friday and working, helping out with the Adidas Boost Bootcamp, on the Saturday. I also got in some carb loading in the form of #adidas26rs biscuits! 

I was a little more nervous about Reading due to the fact I knew I was capable of another sub 80 mins Half and it is flatter than North London so expected to PB again. It was great to bump into a friend of mine Chris (@InvisibleTrail) on the tube so again by chatting I became less nervous about the race. I had arranged to meet up with @the_fitadvisor aswell who I met at the Ashmei Ambassador day so we headed to the race village together. 

I had chosen to do Reading because I had really enjoyed it in 2014 and it was the home of my PB. The huge medal enticed me back aswell. 

  

I wasn’t quite sure how to pace the race and therefore just set out in the same way I took to North London. This worked well as I got into my stride and due to Reading being flatter I could hold onto a quicker pace for longer. I managed a time of 77:01. Bit annoying that 01 but overall happy with the run. I finished 199th and it means I am 172nd in the Run Britain Grand Prix rankings currently which is pretty cool. See below a pic of me and @the_fitadvisor with the awesome medals! She ran a great race and got a huge PB, well done! I’m sure sub 2 isn’t very far away. Chris also did really well achieving just over 1:26 which is awesome as he’s recovering from an injury. I also saw Michelle (former colleague at Sweatshop/London Marathon Store) and she PBd by almost 5 mins!! Awesome work and look forward to seeing you at Brighton! 

  

Overall a great Reading Half, special thanks has to go to Nick Pearson @NickPearsonRuns and the organisers for such a great race and again I will be back if it fits with the Race calendar in 2016. So far I have enjoyed the Vitality race series and am looking forward to Run Hackney half in May but first up I have Kingston half this Sunday to do at marathon pace (need to decide what that is!) and then Brighton Marathon in two and a bit weeks!

I hope everyone’s running is going well and if you did the North London and/or Reading Half had a great time!

Speak and see a lot of you soon!

Steve

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