A pleasant morning but unfortunately I woke up earlier than I had hoped. However, a light breakfast preceded a short drive to Halifax town centre. I Don’t go there often but it’s a nice place, really! Memories return of them losing to Whitby Town in 1980 in the FA Cup …I digress.
Registration was simple and parking very easy. This time I remembered to load up with jelly babies in my back pocket.
So the countdown and we were off. A gently flat for 50 meters then up, up, up we go, too many ups to write down. After three miles we were into the semi rural setting then rural, it seems quick typing this but it was a looong drag, partially on a road I was familiar with having run it when my wife had medical appointments in Halifax. A slow plod all the way up with few folk passing me as I was just digging in and getting on with it. Part of the route was a bit like Wilton Bank in terms of its gradient. Viewing what I thought was the dry ski slope lifts going up turned out to be runners in the distance! Passing a communication mast it was mainly a descent into town. The times was about 2.01 so there was no sub 4 today. Also a blister was growing on my left foot so I decided to sit in the car and plaster up, as without this I feared the second/final lap would be purgatorial, with a Finnish marathon next week and #150, I was not prepared to impact on this in a negative way. So lap two, back to the up, up and up and a consumption of the jelly babies. This second lap proved hard to put it mildly. I had decided not to kill myself and a walk up ‘Wilton Bank’ was in order. Clearly I was slowing down but so were quite a few of the others. As always completion was the order of the day and so it turned out to be. The last 3-4 miles I spent running with a French based Liverpudlian who was running her 242nd marathon and was running Andorra next week where the hills of Halifax would look like a bowling green. As it turned out she beat me but we were see-sawing in overtaking each other, fair play to her, anyway she isn’t 57 years old. So to the final 50 metre flat run to the finish, then to be told we had a 20-30 metre loop to add on. 4.33.08 and 26.38 so why the finishing loop, why! So my Garmin might be wrong? I asked Beth Taylor-Jones who must have run well over 100 marathons what her Garmin said – 26.38 miles!!
So 149 done, now to 150, feeling very positive about this one, it won’t be like Halifax, Huddersfield or Andorra!