SEAFORD HALF 9/6/13
The Seaford Half Marathon with steep and scenic climbs of 1,400ft of trail up into the South Downs. Then a descent to Alfriston village, along Cuckmere River and into Cuckmere Valley. A few last climbs out to Seaford, then back down again for the finish on the promenade. Today is my second race and recovery run from yesterday.
With my friend Domingo, we park up near the seafront and head to the promenade, following the other runners. We can see the finish line on the front and ask another runner where the Rugby club is for registration. Once located and numbers collected we spot other Bosh runners outside. Lucy grabs the nearest person walking by to take a picture.
Nicky, Me, Tristan, Stephen, Trefor, Domingo
Wishing the guys all the best I squeeze myself up to the front group of runners. My Garmin has frozen and with no time to sort it out I am just going on how I feel today with no watch. Runkeeper can record my details.
Miles 1-7 (pace/mile)
7:00 7:53 8:40 8:35 7:24 6:20 6:57
With the sound of the air horn to start us off, we speed off down the beach and onto the pavement across the road. Domingo is by my side keeping up good pace. Without a watch it is perfect, running on feel and taking it in my stride.
After a few miles, a water station and passed Bishopstone. Domingo has fallen back slightly and I keep my head down on the steady incline ahead. My legs have started to warm up and I feel as if I am back on yesterdays route marching up the hills!
Like yesterday the ground is hard mud and chalk. After 5 miles and at 570ft. Weaving out onto the fields, through gates and through nettles, we are high on the downs. Passing flocks of sheep and little else. Soon the grass track leads down, then steep and rocky paths. Everyone picks up speed racing the downhill.
The track leads onto a road that turns into Alfriston Village. Lots of standing spectators cheering and clapping as we whizz by them. Marshals direct us along an alley then out across a bridge reaching the Cuckmere River. Finally some flat yet still very bumpy hard mud below.
7:31 7:34 7:26 8:49 7:30 6:33 8:39
My legs are starting to tire already from the sharp hills of the start. I scuff and drag my feet across the floor. I keep sipping my electrolytes and distract how I feel by the scenery around me.
At a sharp turn before a style I stumble and fall over a rock, unable to stop myself from scrapping my right fingers when I land. Luckily my bottle saves me from any more damage. I dust myself off and carry on. The blood keeps dripping so I spend most of the next few miles sucking my fingers.
I let my pace drop slightly until I feel comfortable in my legs again. It takes awhile but after a few more water stops and through Cuckmere Valley, across the bridge passing the pub. I feel I have a second wind and pick up my pace again.
I start to over take some of the front runners who have slowed. Another sneaky few hills, a shout out from Bosh runner Lesley. A brief thumbs up and smile at the photographer. Then once again high up over looking the seafront and onto Seaford. Passing the south hills golf course then another very steep drop by the cliff side onto the promenade. I cannot see any markers here so follow the road around with another runner in tow.
The last .5 miles has to be the hardest section of all. You can see the finish in sight, but after rolling hills and scenery the flat paved seafront seems very bleak and long. Lots of cheering from spectators are dotted on the pathway. 'Go Luke, come on Bosh'. Then there it is, under the finish and my name is shouted out.
Day two training and another medal
19th position in 1:39:20 which is not bad for my first Seaford and with those climbs after yesterday's tough marathon.
Shortly after Domingo comes in 30th position at 1:40:56. For his first hilly half marathon this is an awesome result.
Me, Georgia, Lucy, Clumsy Anne and Domingo
We hang on to see the other guys come in to congratulate them. Then cheer and clap in Lucy to the finish. She is beaming and has found one of her favourite off road races.
Boshette of the hills!