This half marathon was an absolute delight. Not only was it super friendly but it was in the stunning location in Builth Wells. I was really looking forward to running in this festival but my body was very tired from an extremely physical week at work. I didn't have my hopes set high for a good time as it was so hot and super hilly. It was also a two lap course which mentally I struggle with.
The race start was at 1pm, I found it hard to get the correct nutrition as I didn't want to eat before but knew I would feel hungry if I waited until after. I snacked a lot before and made sure I was carrying yummy shot blocks with me to eat every 15 minutes.
With a quick look around the Welsh show we made our way to the start line, lathered up in suncream and as hydrated as much possible. The race was full of runners representing their local clubs from all over Wales. There was great great atmosphere of friendly rivalry.
The gun went at exactly 1pm. The first mile had a very steep hill up and a very steep hill down, normally I love this terrain but my body felt slow. My muscles gradually started to loosen and I got into the race. It was a good course for ultra marathon runners like myself as there were some good hills to power walk up, this allowed my muscles to adapt and change.
Everyone was super friendly and supportive. At the quarter water station most of the water was thrown over our heads to cool us down. By this point I was on a roll and feeling really good, the second quarter was beautiful, we were running through pine woodlands with a gradual downhill gradient. With about 1 mile before the end of the first lap you could start to hear the show ground, people laughing, kids playing and the tannoy announcing the agricultural shows. It made me think about life and how it goes on whether I was struggling at this point or not.
The first lap was completed in just over a hour which was shock to me. I thought I would be at a lot slower pace. This gave me the determination to try and get equal split times for the next lap. The next lap flew by and for some reason did not seem as far or as steep. It was of course exactly the same but it is amazing what your mind can do to help your body.
I seemed to hear the show ground even further from the end at this point. I was also in pure race mode as there was a lady in pink in front of me, we had been leap-frogging the whole race and I was not going to let her beat me. For the last mile I was flying and loving it.
A very hot and hilly half marathon completed with very tried legs and a weary body in 2hours 7minutes. Pleased with that.
It was now time to hit the food hall and raid the free samples. This was truly a really well organised event and one I would definitely do again. It is great for the whole family, the race price includes entry to the show and there is also lots of different running distances for all to enjoy is they choose.
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