The Bupa Great Birmingham Run was my second half marathon race in two weeks, and one I really wanted to set a new PB in. My exertion induced headaches meant I hadn’t done any race specific training so would be running on my base fitness.
Since my 1:41 hr current PB last year in the Leicester Half, I had joined my local running club and run a marathon so I knew I was in better shape. Then again the previous weeks barefoot half had taken more out of me than I thought, but I ran it a lot quicker than I planned too!
I managed to get a very good place a few metres from the start of the first wave, but as I passed over the chip mat, someone clipped the back of my trusty vibram and my heel popped out. It was a bad start after all!
I ran on for fifty or so metres, glancing behind me looking for a safe place to stop. That was the moment when a camera caught me, broadcasting live on national TV!
Once I had sorted out the shoe issues, I settled into a steady pace until just under half way. The out and back stretch along the Pershore Road meant we passed the lead and faster runners (or rather they passed me!), including the overall winner Micah Kogo.
On the return stretch I was feeling strong so pushed the pace a little, the live bands every mile helping distract me. I knew there was a 1.5 mile uphill section around mile 11 so kept a bit back. When it arrived it continued around several sharp turns making it really hard to judge.
The final straight had massive crowd support which helped with a strong finish. My partner and daughters were just over the finish line so it was great to see them. My final time was 1:35:55 hrs – a solid PB!
Sadly a runner collapsed and died after crossing the finishing line. Kevin was 36, a regular runner and had trained for the race. RIP Kevin.
A couple of weeks later I recognised the name of the race winner, Micah Kogo in the book I am reading “Running with the Kenyans” by Adharanand Finn.