Well, it’s been months since I last blogged and have decided to start again, however it doesn’t seem right to start a new post since I never came back and wrapped up my last ones…so here goes!

I finally managed the Dentdale 14 mile run (14.2 miles to be exact) in two hours and 14 minutes which I was extremely pleased with! To be honest, I was just glad not to come last. No, I tell a lie, I was just glad not to come last out of the men! I even managed to beat a lad from Durham Harriers, which made me very smug as a first timer.

As for the race itself, tough doesn’t even come close! Sherburn Hill isn’t even as hilly as this place, so it was a comfort to hear one of the more seasoned racers say it was the toughest half marathon course he’d ever ran.
Looking and feeling completely out of place at the starting line amongst the 340+ runners who took part, I quickly realised that me and Mark were the only ones there who’d ever seen the thick end of a hangover or takeaway in the last 10 years…these people were serious, and ripped to shreds!

After being advised to take it easy at the beginning, we found that we had ran the first 5 miles quicker than we ever had done in our short ‘fast’ training runs, which was a worry since we had another nine miles to go and were feeling pretty knackered!

At this point I was running alongside a veteran with over 30 years experience. We chatted for a bit keeping a steady pace and I felt I was doing okay, so after a while I pressed on and ran in front. A mile later and he was past me and off into the distance!

The rest of the race was a bit of a blur and I can’t honestly remember thinking much about anything in particular, other than counting each mile and willing myself past every tree, puddle, marker and water station that was in sight. By the time I got to the 11 mile marker, my body had hit the wall around three or four miles ago, though for some reason, psychologically, it started to become much much easier. Knowing you’re into double figures with only a few short miles left seems to have a placebo effect on the pain…and the grimaces I’d held for the past 90 minutes turned to grins as I neared the start/finish line once more!

The buzz and sense of achievement as we crossed the line was immense, particularly as my folks had come along to cheer us on. The pain in my knees a few moments later was unbearable so we decided the best thing for it was a couple of pints of Stella to numb the pain in the nearest pub in Dent village. Try drinking two pints straight after running solid for over two hours while dehydrated and depleted of energy. Needless to say, I don’t remember the trip back home!

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