Magda Grinsdale, still buzzing after her triumph in the Bradford City Half Marathon (or from drinking too much coffee!) writes this race report.
Bradford City Half Marathon: Sunday 25 October 2015
After missing the boat on the GNR and Amsterdam (sob sob) I thought I’d better try and get another half under my belt before the end of the year.
A little hunting around and I found one in Bradford – part of the ‘Bradford City Runs’ (5k and 10k too) Ideal…I could visit my folks for the weekend, spend some time with the Grinsdale clan and get a race done in the meantime (kit holding duties sorted!) To be honest, I wasn’t hoping for much after a little summer-slump with training, so just wanted to race again and see where I was at.
Sunday morning came quicker than I’d hoped (even with an extra hour in bed). 6am alarm…shower…shoveled in porridge, banana, coffee and we were on the road before I’d had chance to wake up. Simple answer to that…more coffee! Starbucks just spotted round the corner! One double espresso down and I was beginning to feel slightly more human so headed on down to City Square.
I’m always super nervous before the start, so I scampered off to do some drills and in doing so managed to catch most of the kids fun 1k run – SO CUTE! I am definitely roping my nieces and nephews into this next year! However, warm up/course recce confirmed what I’d read on the previous race reviews…hills…and lots of them! Plus it was a lapped course (I must be a glutton for punishment). Ah well – no going back now!
Wiggled my way to the front so I could get a decent start, made some idle chit-chat with the guys next to me, the usual…‘What time you going for?’ ‘You ran this before?’ and then ‘Why do we do this to ourselves?’ ‘Missing out on beers last night for a 9:30 race?!’…But secretly everyone loves it
After the hell-for-leather start (every-time) the first four miles went surprising well! Yes, it was uphill from the word go but I kept a half-decent pace and was feeling OK. I always end up running solo, but I knew I was the first HM female out of the pen and a sneaky hairpin turn en-route confirmed I was a good minute ahead of the next girl.
The 5k and 10k runners set off on the same course after us which was actually a good thing as it meant I managed to hang on to some faster runners mid-race. The course itself was four 5k laps, with an extra 1.1k on the first lap, much to Momma G’s delight as it kept her entertained every 20mins or so and it meant you knew what/who to expect around the corner. Lots of corners…it was pretty much a loop around the University and back down into City square with many a twist and turn along the way, admittedly it wasn’t the most scenic race I’ve ever done! I do usually like laps, but by the fourth time round, my legs definitely had enough of that mile uphill! Didn’t manage to keep the pace I’d set early on so I decided to just hang on and try keep the lead – which I managed – yipeeeee!
Crossed the finish line at 1:27:41 – not a PB but happy enough considering the course. The atmosphere, support and organisation were really good and overall experience was an enjoyable one. Aside from getting the win, the highlight had to be the first marshal shouting after me ‘Goooooo Lady…Tyne Bridge Lady! Wow! Tyne Bridge…thanks for coming down!” Other than the 10k winner from the Netherlands, I think I was the furthest travelled runner down there!
So not a bad morning out! But I must stop signing up to all these hilly races!