Run Hackney Half Marathon 2015

Since the Wings for Life UK run on Sunday the 3rd of May I’ve been pretty busy running and racing. I went to #TrackTuesday, ran the Assembly League Victoria Park 3.5 miler, did Mile End parkrun and enjoyed the Run Hackney Half Marathon.

Surprisingly after doing 23 miles for the Wings for Life run I felt pretty fresh and therefore in the last week I managed to do over 50 miles including the three “races” I mentioned before. #TrackTuesday was great as always, I’m looking forward to tonight’s session. It would be good to see more new faces soon. We run at Mile End track from 7.30pm (it costs £3.25 for track access) message me if you’re interested and want anymore details or head over to the Run Fast blog. 

My first race of the week was on Thursday. It was the Assembly League Victoria Park 3.5 mile run. It just so happened to fall on the day we have run club from The Running Works store. I was day off but decided to run in to do the 4 mile route around Shadwell Basin with the group. I decided to do this because I have found that I often run stronger after I’ve ran earlier in the day. The race was at 7.30pm so I had a good couple hours to rest/chill. I didn’t really know what to expect for the Assembly League run. Over 300 people ran coming from all the different London run clubs. I ran for Victoria Park Harriers as I have ran with them a few times in the last couple weeks and am joining them aswell as team Run-Fast.   One of my colleagues, James, was running the race aswell. Off the start line he managed to weave his way through the group and set off at a good pace. I decided it would be good if I could keep him in my sights and try and close up the gap as the race progressed. Having people to follow and keep pushing myself is a great motivation for me and I enjoy this aspect of running on track. The plan is to close the gap, not necessarily throughout the session but week after week, to the front runners. My race strategy, if you can call it that, worked well and I finished two seconds behind James. I finished in 19:20 in 34th place and considering the amount of running I’d done prior to the race I was more than happy with that. You can see the finish here (James in yellow and me in Green from 1:40 in).

I decided Friday should be a rest day. Then on Saturday after much deliberation I decided to run Mile End parkrun as a loosener ahead of Run Hackney Half. The run soon changed from a loosener to a race (again I know it’s parkrun not parkRACE!) I guess I’m just too competitive with myself to not push it at parkruns. I enjoy the Mile End course as it has a few little ups and downs and I try to keep a constant speed going up them. I managed to equal my Mile End PB with a time of 17:49 finishing 2nd. 

Now to the main event, the Hackney Half Marathon. I didn’t really know what to do pace wise considering the amount of running and racing I had done the week leading up to it but I just thought I’d go with the flow. I ran with Alan (a friend and pacer from Niketown) for the first half of the race. We set off at a steady pace in the first couple of miles then started picking it up. In the first few miles we saw Georgia (another Nike friend) and as strange as it is to chat during a race we had a quick catch up (pun intended!) talking about the London Marathon which she smashed in 3:17 after getting the place two days before, mental! 

Me and Alan went through 10k in 39:07. Just after this Alan got a bit of a stitch and had to ease up but as I was feeling comfortable I went on maintaining a decent pace. I knew I was pushing it a bit because my calf had twinged half a mile into the run. Luckily my legs cooperated with me for the rest of the run. After mile 6, when I was on my own, I just kept thinking about people around the course and the cheers I would get especially at mile 10 where Run/Cheer Dem Crew were situated. It was great to see so many friends on the run and I really appreciate the support.   Also big thanks for the photo and shouts from the Advent Running guys.

I managed to hold on to a decent pace despite the heat and finished in 54th place in a time of 1:20:30. That finish time is quite rewarding, I obviously would have liked to go sub 80 mins again but a better taper would be required for that I think.  I feel incredibly lucky that I can do what I’m doing and I have been enjoying every race. I am so relieved that I got through the half unscathed and I can now look forward to Richmond Park Marathon on Sunday. I’m going to take it steady between now and then as doing a half the week before is probably pushing it enough. I’m going to the Christopher McDougall “Natural Born Heroes” book launch on Thursday which should be good. I will then be working at the Night of 10,000 PBs as we (The Running Works) will be retailing at the event. It should be a great day, I’m looking forward to cheering everyone on and picking up issue #5 of Like the Wind magazine.

Looking forward to seeing lots of you at #TrackTuesday, The Running Works Thursday Run club and at the events mentioned above. I hope you all had a great weekend.




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