Yesterday was the RAK half marathon 2014, the 8th edition of the race and the 3rd time I have run it. At the start line were 20 elites (10 guys, 10 girls), around 3000 runners from 93 different countries and approximately 4% of the runners were South African
The RAK half is known as the world’s fastest half marathon and with 8 of the top men finishing in under one hour yesterday, you can just imagine why 🙂
I was aiming for a personal best in this race; last year’s time was 2:22:43 and this year I wanted to do 2:19 or 2:20. I had a little plan in mind of (trying) to stick to about 6:20/km and for the last few runs prior to the race I’d been training with my endomondo voice in my head telling me how fast each kilometer was on my runs. They were always too fast, but I was hoping that in the race I’d be able to keep things slow.
My first 10km’s were made up of a few km’s just over 6 minutes, 1 of them at 5:58 and 2 of them at 6:18 and 6:19, so although a little too fast, I was feeling really good.
At 12km’s I had my gu and kept going at my comfortable pace of just over 6 minutes/km.
13km, 15km, all good. 16km’s – only 5 to go but things were starting to ache. 18km’s came around and I was starting to hurt, telling myself that it’s only 3km’s, there’s NO WAY I can stop now. I was still running at a pace of just over 6 minutes per km and when I hit 19km’s the wheels hit a ditch and we caught a bit of a wobble… my breathing became very shallow and I was battling to draw air in and then my phone battery died (therefore the voices in my head plus my music to keep my mind pre-occupied also stopped) and so when I looked at my watch and worked out that I was going to come in well under my 2 hours 20, I decided that I had better take a short walk and catch my breath properly before I don’t finish the race.
I walked for a few meters until another runner came up behind me, tugged on my arm and prompted me on, saying “Come on, you have only 1km to go!”, and so I started running again… only to stop again a short way later. Continuously watching the time on my watch now, I pushed myself to start running a short way before the 20km mark, when my watch said that I was at 2 hours, 5 minutes. Turning the last corner with about 600m to go, I knew that this was going to be a good time and so I pushed myself to keep going, and managed to pick up some pace and cross the finish line in a time of 2:14:06 😛 A full 6 minutes faster than I had planned on, and 8 minutes faster than my previous best time!! And the average female time was 2:12:38 so I was not far off the mark 🙂
The next race is going to be another half marathon on 7th March; it’s the first time I’ll be doing this particular race (I think it’s the first time they’re holding it), running around a lake on a golf course. Should be interesting.
Al was my supporter this year and she took a few photos of the day while I was doing my running thing… enjoy!