Race report - Waterbeach half marathon

Thought I'd start the feedback on this one.

Despite the forecasts the weather was not too bad - pretty cold at the start but not raining at least. Race breifing was in a gym on the base, then we all wandered down to the start to dump our bags in a truck. The toilets were already overflowing by then so lots of weeing behind barricades!

There were around a couple of hundred runners so no time groups needed at the start - the hooter blew and we were off and over the line in about 20 seconds. I started too fast - 1st mile in 7 mins (should have been around 7:50), then over compensated and went too slow on the next mile. Rest of the race was like that - gaining time and then losing it again on the next mile. My b/f (a 1:25 1/2 runner taking a day off) tried to help keep my pace up with what he thought were encouraging words but just got a lot a flak from me in return!

The course is totally flat - around an airfield, back past the start and off into the village, back into the barracks, around the airfield again to the finish. Not much in the way of support as you might expect. You get passed by faster runners going the other way at three or four points. It did feel quite windy in some points - although the trees weren't moving that much.

It felt a real struggle, but I finished in 1:44:54 on my watch so just squeezed under 1:45. However, this half (my fourth) is the first half where I've not beaten my previous times and it's a bit depressing looking at the times at each mile and missing the splits you're aiming for. Probably because I hadn't run for about ten days just before hand due to resting a dodgy knee - I think I lost more fitness than I realised.

Quite good t-shirts and lots of water at the end. Apart from the toilets, I thought it was pretty well organised. And it started raining as we left - so excellent timing from the weather.

Hope everyone else enjoyed it. I think I saw Glen, but didn't get a chance to say hello and didn't spot anyone else.


  • Well done Doobs!

    Don't be down about not beating previous times. As you said having 10 days off may have made this one harder. Also we can't always go faster than previous times every race.

    Glad the rain held off for you. It's very cold, windy and raining in Dorset. Mind yesterday was a lovely day.
  • Good effort & nice report Doobs. Your weather sounds v similar to what we've got here cold, windy & trying to rain - wouldn't be pleasant running a 1/2M in that.
    Just about to put this PC into PC World before going off for a break (into the worst of the weather no doubt) - so will be offline for a few days. Glad to pick up at least one report from the weekend.
  • I had an absolutely lovely time. 2:27. No, not that I'm wildly proud of being slow, but I have rarely enjoyed a race more.

    Excellent company for the first six miles or so: Karen, aka Fat Girl Slim, two other first timers, with Glenn just ahead. We pottered along, having regular tea breaks at each mile marker. Having ascertained that I was likely to get round I stretched out a bit from 12 minute miling to 10/11 minute miling for the next 5 miles or so. Then things began giving out a bit: it was a question whether a muscle was going to fly up in intractible cramp or simply pull or whether I was going to get round before that happened. Every attempt to speed up was met by a threat from any one of about 18 muscles flying danger signals.

    At 12 miles I met Elizabeth's Dad looking a bit as if he'd made aquaintance with the wall. We shared the last of my fruit gums, and his inimitable humour made the last mile for me a very short and enjoyable one, although I suspect he was suffering considerably.

    The company was terrific. My Mr. and two of my sons were running (home in 1:42, 1:35 and 1:50 respectively) Elizabeth's brother (home in 1:35) as well as her Dad were running, as were father and son near neighbours to Elizabeth, three of the boys' school mates, and two from the sailing club, not to mention Glenn and Karen, all sporting Team Lizzie T-shirts, designed by Elizabeth herself.

    The sailing club turned out to cheer, and popped up at all sorts of unlikely spots along the course which was very encouraging. It was also a lovely course for back-enders: at various points we ran past the speedier ones going the other way, who were all very friendly.

    Tea and lots of cakes and pies at the sailing club after, and a hero's welcome.

    What a day.

    And we reckon CLIC will be in the order of 1,500 pounds better off for the effort. All of it in fives tens and twenties, some from people we don't even know.

    What a day, and thank you all. Couldn't have possibly been better!

  • Doobs + Marj,
    great going. Despite the weather sounds like the pair of you got out there and did the business.

    Really like the sound of the copious cakes and pies after the event.

    Well done you two.
  • Congratulations from me too
  • Well done all, Doobs don't be down I too failed to bring my time down in a run today for the first time (by 15 secs!) & it took over a minute to cross the start line.

    Stickless, so impressed - well done you, I trust you are suitably proud of yourself & treating yourself now.
  • Well done to both of you sounds like a good day out. I'd happily settle for a lots of pies as opposed to a tee-shirt but to get both is a bonus.
  • It was really good to meet some proper live forumites at last. Sorry I couldn't hang around at the end but we'd left a starving teenager at home.

    I almost enjoyed running on all those concrete roads in the base. Don't know what it was, but the monotony of it seeped in my brain and helped me keep a steady pace. Started off aiming for constant 11 min miles and that's what I did, just taking the pace up in the last 1.5 miles for a time of 2:21. As this was my first 1/2 for over six years I was pretty pleased by this. It was also the first one that I've really liked and I was already making plans for how I'd run the next one during the last mile.

    Another plus was runnning with Ruth, a young woman from the base running her first half. I doubt you're reading this, but your thanks at the end were very touching. You may have been grateful for the pace-maker, but I was extremely glad to have the company. Oh, and I could never have kept up with your disgustingly fast sprint finish even if I'd wanted to!

    Marj: I need to get the shirt back to you. Did I misunderstand, or does one of your boys go to the Perse? If so I'll get it back via my son. Well done on the time - your proud boasts of running slowly will never ring true again!
  • How do we get official results for this?
  • Well done everyone.
    Nice to meet Marj, Glenn and Dangly Spice.

    Glenn, to get official results you had to leave an sae at the registration table yesterday, but I'm sure if you sent them a sae that would do.
  • Ref the fast first mile - don't worry - the mile marker was about 400 yards short which probably made your second mile appear slow - also the 9 mile marker was a bit short! Unless i managed a sub 6 minute mile on my first mile which is highly unlikely!!
    Official results were a matter of leaving an SAE (no, I didn't know about it in advance either). However, early on someone was selling stamps and the Army managed to produce some envelopes. If any of you want to send me your postal address, when my results arrive, I'll copy and send on. Otherwise you could send an SAE and note asking for results to the race secretary:
    RERC Race Secretary
    The Hive, The Beach Hut
    Capper Road
    CB5 9LY
    Yes, it was a good course and well marshalled. Glad you all finished. I touched base with Fat Girl Slim at the start but not at the end. Sorry to have misse dyou all.
  • Well done. Sounds like a good party was had by all!
  • Dangly - are you the lady who came 2nd who I was talking to in the changing rooms?? You're photo is too small to tell.

    Well done to everyone else who ran also - I did see the crowd in CLIC t-shirts, and supporters, but didn't realise that was you Marj - sorry not had much time recently to follow the forum. Great amount of money you raised!

    I knew about the SAE, but forgot to leave mine. I figure if I send it to the Race Sec, that should do the job.
  • oops - should be 'your' - need edit for my bad gramma.
  • Glenn - the shirt is yours. Is your starving teenager a Persean then? The youthful element of Team Lizzie are all but one Upper sixth at the Perse. Lovely boys, all of them.
  • Great race but what chaos trying to register. Arrived 40 minutes before the start with full bladder then saw the queue to register- one guy with one computer terminal. Eventually got my number 10 minutes before the start. A 200 yard rush to the car to get into my race gear (regret to say I had no time for the vaseline, nappy rash today!). Pinned my number whilst charging to the start half a mile away nipping behind an army truck for bladder relief.
    Organisation and marshalling superb, an enjoyable race.
  • Paul, in a sense I would like to defend them for the registration, because they did say entries on the day up till 10am. On the other hand, I did arrive before 10 and didn't get to the front of the queue till 10.35. I really must send off in advance in future...

    Marj, thanks for the shirt! Yes, the teenager is in the fifth form at the Perse. How do I go about making a donation to CLIC?
  • Easiest (for me) is if you send a checque made out to CLIC direct to the area fundraising manager, Michelle Gray, whom you may have met yesterday. Her address:

    8 Wren Close,
    Bury St. Edmunds,
    Suffolk, IP31, 3TQ.

    I meant to ask you, if I'm not being too nosey, where you work in Hemel Hempstead. Son #2 (the one who wasn't there yesterday) works during university holidays with McAlpine there in Hemel. (Ignore, if I am too nosey.)

  • You're not nosey at all. I work for RSM Robson Rhodes, which is a firm of accountants. They're in Bryanston Court, right next to the town centre.
  • DustinDustin ✭✭✭
    Well done all , sounds like a good event.
  • Doobs - yes it was me! I was second lady (only the third occasion in 7 years of running that i have achieved such a position) and second vet - they gave both prizes to the first lady, who was also a vet! Colour me unimpressed!!
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