Four Villages half marathon result and report

Race Date: Sunday 21st January 2024

For those of you who know me, you’ll know I don’t really do road – so why I signed up to Seville marathon in February (for the second time), I’m not really sure – perhaps I want to rekindle (for me) former glories. Anyway, a road marathon requires some road effort so I have been doing a bit in-between the Trigger and various other Christmas festival period fell races.

Many of you will also tell me that good half marathon prep does not involve a 24 mile fell race with 4000 feet of climb the week before, nor should I do 6 reps of Cobnar Road on the Thursday before the race – but if you want to experience the second half of a marathon, always good to run on tired legs – and so it panned out.

Ben and I drove over to Cheshire for the race. The weather was threatening high winds and rain but neither materialised. Bumped into ex-Striders Hal and Helen Roberts as well as Christian Hopkins and had the Striders selfie with Mollie Stradling – she gave me a selfie lesson as my effort was pretty poor.

Race went as my marathons usually do. Faster first half and slower second so by the time I’d finished, I was certainly feeling it in my legs. I was longing to stop half way and look at the view (there weren’t any) or climb exceedingly slowly up a near vertically hill (none of those ether) or munch on a jam sandwich (white bread, no crusts) but this was the wrong type of race – it was consistently putting one foot in front of the other without stopping at all, even up the long gradually climbs – yuk! – my legs weren’t on the same wavelength and wanted me to quit, but I bravely perservered. I was so pleased when it was over. I’m really not looking forward to twice this distance on road!

All that is left to see now is if I understand what a taper is, whether I listen to my legs and rest them for a few days before the marathon – time will tell I suppose.

The race itself is a small friendly half marathon with a lot of club runners. It’s the third time I’ve done it (no, I don’t learn from previous experiences) but if you struggle to get into the Brass Monkey, I’d highly recommend this. A wooden medal and an event buff were the rewards for my toil.

The male race was won by Matthew Collins of Oswestry Olympians in 1.09.11. The women’s race was won by Rachael Burns (great surname) of Liverpool Harriers AC in 1.18.40. There were 1492 finishers.

Striders results:

Pos Name Cat Time
437 Nick Burns MV50 1.41.04
525 Ben Heller MV55 1.44.16
725 Mollie Stradling F Sen 1.53.05

Full Results: here

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