Spen 20

I’m keeping this one short. It’s a hard race, the weather was appalling with rain and a weird heavy snow squall halfway round and it was cold.

My only real goal for this was to run it at a good effort level somewhere around marathon effort (pace would be a little slower due to the 1500ft elevation over the course) and to arrive at the finish line in somewhere around 2:15 but feeling comfortable enough to do another 6.2 miles at the same pace.

From the start, it was pretty hectic but I figured somewhere around 6:25/mile might be OK but on the hillier bits, that slowed but generally I felt comfortable and strong through 10 miles in somewhere around 66 minutes and just kept ticking along really.

It was only really once we got onto the second lap part of the course that I started to feel a bit tired but still fairly comfortable and running well although looking forward to getting out of the persistent drizzle, rain, and snow showers and finishing this one.

The final mile has a really steep downhill which is a bit nasty for tired quads but other than that, it’s down the hill, along the flat main road and back onto the athletics track for the final 300m and I crossed the line in what turned out to be 20th place in 2:12 and change.

Happy with that and even won a £20 voucher so a good day out.

It’s a tough race and well organised and established with some strong front runners but I don’t know how helpful it was for my marathon plans given how hilly it was. I’d probably look for a flat 20 miler next time and run more of it at actual marathon pace but other than that a good day out in glamorous Spen.