This is my third London Inline Marathon. (Half marathon). However this time the remnants of Hurricane Bertha made it certain it was to be a wet race. With this in mind I accepted that I was not going to touch my personal best time, but instead I was going to set a new benchmark time for the Hillingdon Cycle Circuit in the rain.
After my experience in Mittelrhein I have decided not to chase or join people who are beyond my league, to instead go at my pace and not play into anyone else's higher level game. I do want to better myself but I most importantly want to enjoy the race.
Richard asked me if I'd worked out who my competition was. I love how focus he is for these events but I just had to laugh the comment off.
When we were warming up my thoughts were reinforced by the fact that all the speedy people had Storm Surge wheels on. They were holding the road much better than my Matter F3 wheels, that slipped if I tried the full push.
The line up for the race was definitely smaller than last year. I know for a fact a few friends had held off signing up because of the weather, which was a shame. For me most of my marathons had at least some element of rain, so I've given up worrying about a bit of water.
(I do not whine - kids whine).
The half marathon started first with a couple of guys bustling for lead. I took a steady pace up the hill. Alex was not too far behind and we made the decision to stick together. Best move of the race. We took it in turns each lap to tackle the crazy rainy headwind on the last section of the lap. It was also handy that he was keeping tabs on our laps better than myself.
I like to pick up the pace if I can for the final lap. So as I started moving away from Alex, he encouraged me to go ahead. I acknowledged but said to him that he'll probably catch up with me on the windy stretch. Which he did. After passing the final corner the wind cut and had a pretty decent sprint (even if it was still wet) to the finish.
After I finished I helped out my friend Chidi who didn't seem to be enjoying it as much as some of the others. She was even more disheartened when she found out her final lap wasn't actually her penultimate. Chidi said to remind her next year not to sign up. I will remind her to sign up early to take advantage of the discounted price.
Very typically the track started drying off at this point. So I had a little sprint around the track just for kicks. That wind was still there though. 3 minutes 33 seconds for a lap.
My time was 54 minutes 39 seconds.
It turns out I podium-ed.
3rd place in the Men's Half Marathon.
1st place in my age category. Seniors.
This is the first time I've got a trophy which is awesome. However we all know if the elite were to have partaken in the Half marathon instead of the Full then I definitely wouldn't have got those shiny prizes. (The top guys lapped us three times!).
I'm pleased with my skating all the same. The race was great despite the rain and it was a pleasure working with my teammate Alex to get the time we did.
We ended the day with the traditional trip to the pizza parlor.
A successful day.
All photos are courtesy of London Inline Marathon.
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