The Stafford Half Marathon is one of our favourite races of the year which is impressive considering it is a road race and we don’t particularly like road races. This was a special race for Dan “The ComeBack Kid” Seeney’s as when he ran his first half marathon in Las Vegas last year he ended up in an ambulance one mile before the finish line, this was the comeback. So who was racing today, myself, Sarah, Les and Dan “The Comeback Kid”.
The Stafford Half Marathon is one of the biggest half marathons local to us and with this comes amazing support from the crowds coming to watch, amazing support indeed, the best I have ever seen at this event.
Before the race there was as always many visits to the toilet, it does not matter how many races you have done, you may always be a little nervous but excited at the same time. Sarah as always was bouncy like Tigger, Les and Dan where as cool as cucumber and I was well, I was me! Before the race started we made our way to the start point chatting to friends including Mr Caswell, Mr Hunt and Mark from our crazy ChaseLife gang who came to support us 🙂
Les and Dan started a little further back whereas Sarah always likes to go forward nearer the start line. 10mins to the start and I had a tap on my shoulder, do you remember the guy who shouted Cannock Chase on our trip to Torrevieja with our crazy ChaseLife gang? Yes it was him he must have recognised us and he was even wearing the t-shirt, you couldnt make this up, he was a nice chap. I think we will be seeing him again next year in Spain 🙂
Anyway back to the race! The race started a little late but once the hooter, gun or whatever it was went off we were away. Tigger aka Sarah went off quick, she does like a quick start and i spent the first half a mile keeping her in sight 🙂 Once the field had split up a little we ran side by side as we always do and we both felt comfortable running at a sub 6min pace. Like I said the support on the course was amazing, super friendly spectators offering you sweets and chocolate and excellent marshalls both directing and providing water at the many water stations.
I always like a good chat while running and yes I can still talk while running quick, it’s a talent lol! I do believe Sarah was going for it today as we were still doing sub 7 min/mile pace at 3 miles. I pointed out to Sarah that we were going a bit quick, She said she felt good so we just kept it up, enjoying the course and the amazing support. It was a little windy in sections, Sarah even tried to use me as a wind shield at one point. Im not the tallest of guys I don’t think that helped much and instead she choose to run behind a lanky guy who I was chatting too.
Like I said support on the course was amazing, kids high fiving you, spectators offering you support and chocolate but even better offering you wine. Yes you heard it right at approx mile 8 I was offered a glass of wine on the course, it wasn’t a water station, it was a wine station. It would have been impolite to have refused so I had a mouthful of red wine, reds not my choice but I did chuckle to myself and got lots of cheers 🙂
There was no sign of our speed dropping significantly, all the speed work, hill work and park runs which we have been doing are clearly paying off. Sarah had her gameface on for sure, she is a very competitive tigger pushing hard passing people up the hills 🙂 There is a long stretch of the course that runs down the A34 which not many people seemed to like as its a bit of a drag but it’s a flat drag so I like it as an excuse to speed up a little. Not far from home now, we come off the A34 and run along the river with all the crowds cheering, the crowds always push you to run that bit harder. Less than a mile to go and we see Sue, Lindsay and Mark on the bridge supporting us. Now we are in town and the support is amazing seeing other friends (Yvonne, Neil, Carolyn, Dawn, George, Alan, Marie) with only 400 metres to go. Pushing Sarah to run quicker, there is indeed nothing quite like a sprint finish, I love them. The finish was round the corner so I couldnt resist a crazy sprint finish so off I went. I stopped 10 metres short of the finish line and waited for Sarah as we wanted to finish together, it was over all done, 1:35:38 good job!!! A new pb for both of us by a good 2 minutes.
We ran back to the bridge to go and support Dan when he came in but we had missed him, he had already gone through 🙁 He ran that well exceeding all expectations, finishing in a time of 1:48:56, He is truly ‘The Comeback Kid’, Super Proud 🙂
We were now waiting for Les to come in, you could set your clock by Les, he is that consistent 🙂 Les came in 2:21, awesome work as always 🙂
This was an awesome day with Dan finishing his first half marathon in style, even helping a fellow runner at the finish. Me and Sarah getting a new pb. Even better Sarah came in as the 10th woman, not in her age group, the actual 10th women finisher out of 1000’s winning a prize, super proud 🙂 Les as always running well, always supportive being Mr Cool, A job well done! Thanks must go to the support from everyone; family, friends, supporters and marshall’s. Looking forward to the Stafford 10k 🙂
The Stafford Half Marathon has been going for many years and is organised by Stafford Borough Council and Freedom Leisure. All the results from the race are available from the Freedom Leisure website.