Halstead marathon



  • MinksMinks ✭✭✭

    Great advice from DS2!  Interestingly I never focus on other runners and overtaking them, even in the last few miles.  My usual tactic is to set a time, to know exactly what pace I need to run to achieve that time, and then set my Garmin to show just the current lap pace.  I then try to make sure that for every mile I shave a couple of seconds off my required pace so that I have a little cushion for the latter part of the race.  In 2010 my target was 3:20 and I came in at 3:19:11.  Although I slowed up a bit in the last 6 miles I had enough time 'banked' that it didn't matter.  I totally agree that much of the marathon is in the mind, especially in the last 6 miles.

    The other thing I must make sure of next weekend is to run the first mile no faster than MP.  Even if I hadn't been unwell at London I definitely went off too fast and may well have paid for it later in the race (first 3 miles were 7:26, which was OK, then 7:15 and 7:02).  Those miles are mostly downhill but even so - that was too quick.

    Race numbers ARE on the website - go to the main Halstead Road Runners website, and under the left-hand navigation you'll see Halstead & Essex Marathon.  Under that is a sub-heading entitled 'Entrants' - click on that and you get a list of everyone entered and their race numbers.  Mine's 523.

  • oooo, I'm 125.... I think thats the lowest race number I've ever had- must be getting elite!!!  By the way, did you get my emailed videos of the course Minks?

    DS2-  can you send your charity link again?  I was waiting for payday image 

  • MinksMinks ✭✭✭

    Yes, thanks Angela - I did receive the videos, but couldn't get them to work the right way up (everything was on its side!)  Couldn't find the right button to rotate the display but will try and have another look.  Did you drive the whole course?  What was your impression of the undulation factor?

    I had a lovely run last night, 4.5 miles.  I'd already walked part of the route earlier in the evening with my son and his Beaver group - it connects to other routes I often do but had only ventured in that particular direction once before and had taken a wrong turning and ended up on a not-very-friendly farm and ultimately on a busy road.  This time we went the right way and I enjoyed the walk so much I went back and ran it after my son had gone to bed.  It was pretty much all uphill though, especially the last - BIG! - hill back to home (I can never avoid an uphill return as I live at the top of several hills).

    I'm not really doing much preparation other than the runs.  I think you can get too hung up on carb loading - I normally just eat what I'd usually eat, which is pretty high-carb anyway as we eat a lot of pasta, rice, baked potatoes etc.  I do need to hydrate better though - used to always make sure I drank 2 litres of water a day (on top of other drinks); now it's often just one litre.  Mainly because it gets to mid-afternoon and I realise I haven't refilled my water bottle, then can't drink another litre before I finish work or I'd be in agony on the train home!

  • Hi Minks, no, we didn't manage to drive th whole course- the maps we printed off were attrocious, and the petrol tank empty light was flashing when we were quite lost.  That being said, the parts I did drive I did manage to leave the car in gear 3 with barely any acceleration, so the hills/undulations/whatever you want to call them weren't too much work for a 1ton car, so should be fairly easy for a 60kg human (my weight, not urs )

  • Hi everyone,

    done 6 EASY miles last night as i was being watched by the eagle eyes of the club image after i told them the news. they are so supportive its great.

    No's are duly noted and will be ready with the water if needed image

    Angela-did you drive through the high street? i havent looked at the map yet so havent a clue where it goes. have heard its a lovely route thoughimage

  • Minks wrote (see)

    Race numbers ARE on the website - go to the main Halstead Road Runners website, and under the left-hand navigation you'll see Halstead & Essex Marathon.  Under that is a sub-heading entitled 'Entrants' - click on that and you get a list of everyone entered and their race numbers.  Mine's 523.


    Well spotted Minks how about we start a list with everyones key details in one place?

    Kandinsky (Simong)   Race No. 178   Target Time 3:40:00

  • Kandinsky (Simong)   Race No. 178   Target Time 3:40:00

    jason wintin race no. 137 Target time: DNF image

  • Yet more great advice DS2, my "best" race was my first half marathon where I had no idea of pacing so kept it relatively comfortable until half way and then began targeting the runners ahead! 

    By the time I'd finished I'd overtaken almost 35 which felt brilliant from a field of about 350!

    This time I'm going for a steadier pace throughout and giving up anything I've got left over the last 5-6 miles.

  • MinksMinks ✭✭✭

    Kandinsky (Simong)   Race No. 178   Target Time 3:40:00
    Minks (Debbie Hughes)  Race No. 523  Target Time sub-3:19

  • Kandinsky (Simong)   Race No. 178   Target Time 3:40:00
    Minks (Debbie Hughes)  Race No. 523  Target Time sub-3:19

    jason wintin race no. 137 Target time: DNF


    Angela Isherwood race no. 125 Target Time sub 4:15 (gold) sub 4:20 (silver), sub 4:25 (bronze)

  • Kandinsky (Simong)   Race No. 178   Target Time 3:40:00

    Minks (Debbie Hughes)  Race No. 523  Target Time sub-3:19

    jason wintin race no. 137 Target time: DNF 

    Angela Isherwood race no. 125 Target Time sub 4:15 (gold) sub 4:20 (silver), sub 4:25 (bronze)

    DS2 (David Sancto) No: 81 target Time Sub 3:19

  • Kandinsky - I have, of course, made every error going and have found starting steady to be the best way. Running even pace will have you passing loads in the second half and especially the final 6 miles. I ran 3;44 there last year and passed people all day long by running 1:51/1:53.

    I'd been injured after crashing my bike so my longest run had been about 14 miles some 10 weeks before. It's a huge motivator passing people.

    Jason - very sorry for you but it was the only decision to make. I'm sure it will all turn out fine but you have to be safe. You won't be in your prime for another 6 years, at least, so plenty of time to run good times once you can be certain you will remain safe. Sounds like you have a great club there - and I'm pleased you told them!

    Minks/Angela - i bet the hills looked steep if it was on its side!!!

  • For those interested, here is my fundraising page. First event is the Halstead marathon and will include Lands End to John O'Groats bike ride, Abingdon marathon and VLM 2014 (on my 50th birthday!!!). Any donation will be greatly appreciated by the charity and me! Thank youimage



  • MinksMinks ✭✭✭

    That sounds like some challenge, DS2!  Is there a particular reason you're supporting that charity and doing so many events to raise money for them?  I sense a personal story in there somewhere ...

  • DS2 i totaly agree with every decision made. 

    Now thats some challenge you've got yourself there i wish you the best of luck with it image.


  • Minks - I got involved a few years ago and have raised a few thousand on various bike rides. Two years ago we did London to Paris bike ride and thoroughly enjoyed so a friend I met on that trip and I decided to do the End to End.

    My twin daughters have autism and I was keen to support a charity that helps fund research into issues related to birth and childhood. Additionally, my sister suffered a still birth with her first child. He would have been 18 this summer so it seemed fitting that I should do something in his memory. Lastly, the charity have just made a big donation into researching the various causes of still birth so it tied in nicely.

    thanks for listening

  • I'm aiming for 3.59, ideally feeling like I could have gone 20 minutes faster. It's my last long run before Comrades so being sensible is key.  I believe a few Comrades runners use Halstead for the same reason - one of them will be guiding a blind runner towards the back of the field so give them some support if you see them. 

  • Welcome Kevin. Yes, I know there is one Halstead runner who runs the course at 6am and then again with the rest of us!

    Good luck with Comrades. Is this your first time?

    I used to guide a blind runner myself so I'll look out for them.

  • Thanks DS - my second, but first up so I still don't know what I'm doing ! The blind runner isn't doing Comrades - just his guide. I've never done Halstead but if it feels like its flat then maybe I have some chance in SA. 

  • Hi Kevin Comrades is on my bucket list! You must stay on here after Halstead to let us know how the final few weeks are and how the 'up' course is image

  • MinksMinks ✭✭✭

    DS2, what a wonderful thing to do in memory of your sister's son and for your daughters.  I ran for Great Ormond Street in 2010 for personal reasons (my sister-in-law's sister lost a 10-week old baby girl to whooping cough) and the whole experience of fundraising for something so close to my heart was incredibly emotional - I distinctly remember shedding a few tears as I crossed Tower Bridge and the finishing line!  I will definitely sponsor you.  How old are your daughters? 

    Welcome Kevin.  Respect to anyone tackling Comrades.  It's one of those "would ove to do" things for me that'll probably never happen - I'm also curious to learn whether the 'up' route is tougher than the 'down'!


  • Ummm, I just checked the BBC's weather forecast for halstead on 12th May.... 

    Max temp ranging from 9 to 20 degrees, 

    Sunny Intervals
    • Humidity60%
    • VisibilityVery Good
    • Pressure (Millibars)1023
    • Wind DirectionNW
    • Wind Speed (mph)12

    Ummm, I don't like the look of this image

  • Minks - when we rode to Paris the organisers did this brilliant speech at the final stop before we set off into the City. it was really emotional. Everyone was there for there own personal reasons and it really brought home why we were there. I've never seen so many grown people wiping a tear away! It will stay with me forever and was one of the reasons I wanted to do another ride.

    Since then I have raised money everytime I've done a marathon. I think we all get glib about raising money, especially when some minor celebrity goes out and raises £1,000,000 because they are occasionally on the telly. In truth, running for a cause close to our hearts is a great way of giving something back from the joy sport brings us. I now see it as one of my main motivators!

    My twins are 13. We've had a tough time but things are improving. Always look forward!

    That's a very sad story about the baby with whooping cough. I can't imagine getting over that.

    I'm definitely going to do Comrades before I'm 60!!! And all of the marathon majors, as well. Good on you Kevin. Really keen that you keep in touch and we hear how it went!

  • Good luck everyone, good advice about starting steady. They did this great thing at the vlm where you can find out how many people you passed in the last 7k - 868 for me (though 95 passed me). 


    I will be cheering on a friend at Halstead, will watch out for you. Havent finalised where but I think Pebmarsh (?) looks a good spot to see everyone twice.

  • MinksMinks ✭✭✭

    Angela, don't stress it about the weather.  It's the one variable you can't control, and anyway it's still far too early for a reliable forecast for the day.  It'll be what it'll be -just focus your energy on preparing for the variables you can control, and you'll be fine!

    I think my recent London experience has taught me that it's a mistake to invest so heavily in one event emotionally - if it goes wrong it leaves you at the bottom of the barrel.  I'm trying to take a chilled approach to Halstead and above all, enjoy it.

    That sounds amazing about the ride to Paris, DS2.  I can imagine you've had some tough times with your daughters.  My sister-in-law's sister and her husband had some very, very dark times but they went on to have another healthy daughter (they already had one who is a little older than my son) and have moved on with their lives - although they still have dark days and obviously you never forget something like that nor ever fully get over it.

    I count my blessings every day for my healthy, happy, bright and energetic little boy.  I can't begin to describe how much joy he has brought - and continues to bring - to our lives.  I am very blessed.

    Lovely off-road run last night, same route as the other night but in reverse - quite tough as the ground is SO hard.  Was quite surprised to average 7:35 for the run - it felt comfortable and there's no way that the ground underfoot will be as challenging at Halstead (given it's almost all road) so felt quite happy with that.

  • Hi susan thats brilliant you can have good bragging rights for that sort of info image

    If ive been told correct you can stand in a popular area and see people 4 times in total as its a big figure of 8. dont know where though image

  • Ah OK I need to research the route properly to find a top spot and I will post it beforehand. Will have my oldest son with me on Jelly Baby duty unless there are any other special requests? 

    Re the weather there really is nothing you can do but curse it on the day.  I ran Brighton a couple of years ago, the official temperature was 23 but I remember seeing 25 on the thermometer at the half way mark. It wasnt fun but I made things worse by going out too fast for the heat and not wearing a hat - madness. Hopefully the forecast  might settle a little over the next few days - I spend hours toggling between sites......



  • Tracey GTracey G ✭✭✭

    Susan - there is normally a little Fetch Point image

    Have done this marathon about 3 times. Hoping to be there to support my club mates that are doing it.

  • evening all, went for a Parkrun this morning and managed to do it even slower than marathon pace image was pacing my fiancé, and he pipped me to the sprint finish.  The first and only time he'll ever beat me in a parkrun image

    then we went to the wonderful cycle shop recommended by oirish eyes and have botH Come away with spd shoes and clipless pedals ready for our cycle training. Must resist the urge to try them on before the marathon! The chances of me making hard contact with the road are just too high!

    definitely the best bike shop I've ever been to oirish, so thanks for the recommendation image

  • MinksMinks ✭✭✭

    Glorious 11-mile run done this morning through Epping Forest, around Theydon Bois and High Beech.  The paths were lovely and dry, the sun shone and the run felt pretty comfortable despite being a hilly route (we did the 'switchback' part of the Orion 15, for those familiar with the route, and a couple of the other hills in that race too).  Running buddy was struggling but I felt really strong, so pleased with that as there's no way Halstead can be as tough as that route!

    Now just need to take it nice and easy for the rest of the week - may do one speedier run on Tuesday, but will keep the rest easy and hopefully have nice fresh legs next Sunday! image

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