A cracking weekend had by all down in Sandy Balls campsite on the edge of the New Forest. The Malmesbury Massive descended upon Hampshire for a weekend of fun in the 'log cabins' of the infamous site topped off by the Heartbreak 'Half Marathon' on Sunday morning.
Our family was joined by the Newton-Lewis', the Pascoe's, the Young's, and the Wicks' for revellery and relaxation. Not particularly great preparation for the race but the late nights and long fun-filled days made for a great weekend!
Sunday morning dawned and Jack Frost thought he'd add a bit of spice to proceedings. Sheet ice had covered a lot of the course, which was subsequently reduced to 10.6 miles in order to retain control over emergency vehicle access to all parts of the course. Full credit to Race New Forest who did great to allow the race to continue despite adverse weather conditions.
Heather, Erica and myself lined up at the race start located in the valley below the site. The start was up the valley side, through the site and on into the New Forest proper. I had not trained for 2 weeks prior due to a knee injury sustained earlier in the month and therefore my fitness was a complete unknown.
To cut things short, I was in the mix for a top half finish for the first 4 miles until my lack of running told and I started to drop off pace. Long sustained hills defined the course profile and seen as it was an out and back route we only had to look forward to the same on the way back.
By half way I could still push a little but by around mile 8 I had switched to 'cruise control' and sat back for the remaining miles, eventually coming home in 1 hour 26 minutes. At first I was dissapointed with the time, as I know I can run a lot faster, however, on closer inspection it worked out at just above 8-minute mile pace which would have brought me in at 1 hour 46 minutes for a full half marathon. Not bad given the lack of training, course profile and conditions.
Next up is the Bath Half Marathon on the 7th March.