Spring is almost upon us. For a long distance runner that means one thing.
It's marathon season.
It's now time for me to put the final pieces of the jigsaw together, by firstly rounding off the cross country season before switching my focus to the road.
My last race was the UK Inter-Counties Cross Country Championships at the new venue in Loughborough, proudly representing the Royal County of Berkshire.
I went into the race with no exceptions. This week has been terrible. I have been struggling to get over a 26 mile session from the previous Saturday. I had honestly started to think that I had left my marathon on the road 6 weeks before toeing the start line. But by the time I had completed my warm up yesterday, my aching bones had finally gone.
During the race I ended up feeling pretty good, until a surprise half a mile extra field appeared when I thought it was the end (I'll look at the course properly next time!). Just about holding it together, but typically losing out in a sprint to the line, I finished 24th. My history of donning the Berkshire vest has been pretty disastrous (197th in 2015 & 237th in 2011) so I'm thrilled to break the trend! The Berkshire women's team finished 6th, so it was a good day in the office and made the 5am start not so bad after all.
I'm incredibly happy to end the cross country season on a high and it gives me back the confidence I need going into the penultimate race next weekend.
I'll be taking a much needed taper before running around my home town at the Reading Half Marathon with a stacked elite race on Sunday.
Once the dress rehearsal is done, it will soon be time for the main event.
Summary of the Season
- Hampshire Cross Country League - Overall standing 2nd (8th, 7th, 4th, 3rd)
- Liverpool Cross Challenge (Euro Trials)- 48th
- Berkshire Cross Country Championships - 2nd
- South of England Cross Country Championships- 13th
- English National Cross Country Championships - 29th
- UK Inter Counties and Cross Challenge Final - 24th
Elite Competition Hotting Up The 2017 Vitality Reading Half Marathon is set to be fast and furious with strong fields in both the male and female elites.