Prior to the inaugural Ringland Half Marathon starting and finishing at the Dinasoar Park on the edge of Norwich (replacing the Broadland Half Marathon) I had got in a few longer runs. However probably not a sufficient number and not long enough!
I'd got up to 10 miles (except for an accidentally long 22.5km run in the forest before Christmas where I may have gone a little off course! I am building my run distance slowly towards Ironman Estonia in August and just using events like this for training - it's much more social covering the miles in event with company, and besides I wanted the dinasour medal on offer!
Things started off well as I settled into a rhythm early on, well as best as I could given it was a fairly undulating course making pacing more tricky. I seemed to be moving comfortably and had left a few of my Tri-Anglia team-mates behind who I had started with. I was lucky enough to gain some company when I got chatting to a gentleman called Adrian from North Norfolk. Turns out he does some guide running and as we chatted away about this, ultra trail running and Ironman madness the Km's seemed to fly by.
By about 10 miles/16km's I was starting to feel it a bit. My legs were getting cold and energy level beginning to fade in the damp conditions. At this point my Tri-Anglia buddies, including Mark Philo caught me up again. Mark always seems to start slower than I do and then speeds past towards the end of races. I could hear him coming up for a while (Mark's usually chatting away to someone!) and it seemed it would happen again. However to Mark's credit he stuck with me for the last few miles, pushing me on towards the finish (which thankfully was mainly downhill!). He could have dropped me and sneaked inside 1:50, but instead we crossed the line together 4 seconds outside his target time which was nice.
Having dried off and eaten copious amounts of cake I was pleased to get some miles in the bank. There's work to be done before Ironman Estonia though and it starts with the Wymondham 20 miler - not sure I'm looking forward to that extra 7 miles though!
Thanks to Adrian, Mark and the other Tri-Anglia guys for your company around the Ringland hills!