Shanghai Running Magazine volume 1, Q1 2014 - Page 23

Race Review Shanghai Running, We Run Shanghai Bob and Lillian looking superb in their Shanghai Running The full marathon / half marathon split came at 15km and my heart won the argument. At this point I was thinking “the 3.15 pace group are not far in front maybe I can still have a good race”. Afterwards I knew that at some point ahead of me, the wheels were going to come off and, it would get a bit messy, but I was committed now. At 17km I felt a bit of pain in my chest and it wasn‟t until later that I realised how bad the air pollution had been. I tried to keep a consistent pace going but gradually I started to get overtaken as more and more runners came past me. There was no doubt I was definitely slowing down. Around the 19 – 20 km mark I remember seeing Siobhan McHugh the 2nd place lady from our Gucun Park Half Marathon go past me and I remember thinking I‟m not going to see her again this race. By now I was definitely going backwards or it felt like it anyway. At halfway I checked my watch and it was 1hr 38 min not too bad and I also got some shouts of encouragement from Mike from the other side of the road. I must have been about 3 - 4km in front of him at that stage. At 25km I saw Mike Creasy‟s wife Alice and his son William who were out supporting, I was smiling putting on a brave face but knew I was going to be in a bit of trouble later. At 28km I saw Will across the road coming back the other way and we exchanged waves, he was at the 32km mark so he was now 4km ahead of me. The way he looked I knew he was on for a good time. A little later I started to get some pain in my left knee. I did the turn and was making my way back towards the bridge. My stomach was troubling me a bit so I went to go into a portaloo but it was locked, I would have to carry on. At 32km just before going back over the bridge I had to stop for a toilet break. I felt a lot better afterwards and psychologically started to make the countdown for the last 10km. Only 10km to go that‟s just a little training run isn‟t it! Well it was one of the hardest 10km‟s I‟ve done. From now it was just a war of attrition, any thoughts of a good time had long gone (if I was fully fit I would have hoped for around 3.15). Now it was just a case of counting down the km‟s and finishing the race in not too much pain. I felt myself gradually getting slower and slower but kept ticking down the km‟s, 33,34,35,36,37. I kept thinking Mike is going to come past me at any time now. Copyright Shanghai Running 2013. At 38 km I really started to hit the wall and for the next km I was barely running faster than a walking pace. It felt like my body was shutting down and I felt like my legs were cramping up. I somehow managed to draw some mental strength to override what was happening to me physically. I kept telling myself I should go faster as it will stretch my legs out and stop them from cramping out. So from 39km I gradually started to lengthen my stride and quicken the pace and my speed picked up again. By 40km I started feeling better again, telling myself „only 2km to go‟ and the last km went by really quickly and I started passing lots of people as I finished quite strongly. I eventually finished in 3 hours 39 minutes and Mike finished just behind in 3 hours 41 minutes. However, we had run completely contrasting races. Mike had started off slowly but had speeded up and felt good all the way through his run and was very happy with his time as it was quicker than last year. I had mixed feelings. It had been a struggle for me but I was very happy and relieved to have finished given the build up to my race and quite proud that I didn‟t give up and walk even when I really wanted to. It may have not been one of my better runs but I felt I had got a lot of experience from it and had learnt some new things. The first thing I learnt was that if you are not sure whether to run a full marathon or a half marathon, make a commitment which one to run before the race and stick to it. The other thing I learnt was that the mind has an amazing capacity to overrule what the body is telling you. Mind over matter really does work. Congratulations to Will Marks who finished the race in an excellent 80th male and an excellent time of 2:54:52; to Aiden who finished 380th male in 3:15:36; to Siobhan McHugh who was an amazing 23rd lady overall in a time of 3:17:54 and to Mike Creasy who finished in 3hr 41 min. Congratulations to Eduardo Tagle who ran the Half Marathon and finished 59th male in a time of 1:24:01. It was good to see some familiar faces from the Shanghai Running events. www.shanghai-running.com Helen and Louise proudly showing their finishers medals Pictures: Photo’s by Photos Helen Lee & Helen Zhang 23