Brass Monkey Half Marathon – 21st January 2024

by Rob Teasdale

The very popular Brass Monkey once again delivered the goods with a cracking turnout of 14 runners from the club.

For the first time this years event was a ballot process which meant many missed out, I did originally but thanks to Lee I was able to secure a place.

Not that I need motivating to run but I always feel a place in Brass keeps you going over those winter months when it’s cold and dark to get out and hammer those sessions. I’d had a great build up for this year’s event (quite possibly my best ever block of training) and was feeling in great shape so was hopeful of at least a PB if not faster.

The forecast however had other ideas with gale force winds forecast, thankfully come race day these had subsided but we all knew that we’d be running into a strong headwind on the way out. Hopefully we wouldn’t exert too much energy for the way back when hopefully the wind was at our backs.

Me and Caroline had stayed down the night before so it was just a matter of an easy run up to the race course from our digs, toilet stop, strides and drills and get lined up ready for the off.

The horn sounded and off we went at 10am. Running into the expected headwind I was holding pace fine until miles 5/6 when you get out into the wide open countryside with no shelter and I really suffered a drop in pace struggling into the wind here. Thankfully we turned just after the halfway point and I was able to get back down to target pace with a more favourable wind direction.

The left hand turn signals the 3.5m run for home back to the racecourse which is a case of digging in and give it all you’ve got, especially over the two flyovers which any other time would feel like speed bumps but by this point they’ve turned into mountains!!

Some great support from Caroline and team Clay powered me over the finish line for a new PB of 1.14.57, shaving 2 secs off my previous best. Having been out completely due to injury earlier in the year and build all my fitness back up I was really happy to PB but had an overriding feeling of ‘what if’ if it hadn’t been for the wind.

A huge well done to everyone who ran from the club. Fantastic efforts all round. PBs I know of belonged to Simon, Kate, Kris and Dawn. Apologies if I’ve missed anyone.