Cardiff seemed to be a perfect build up race and tester at 3 weeks out from the Frankfurt marathon, my main goal for the season on 25th Oct.
I arrived with some hard training over the previous months with plenty of 50-60 mile training weeks, although I was still feeling a bit tired from a busy week of travelling and a 0530 start.
I worked my way to the front of the start pen and sat myself just behind the elite group, not wanting to get caught in the stampede or trying to dodge people dressed as rhinos or cardboard cars, I did see a few!
It worked out just right, after a fast 1st mile of around 5:30 I settled into a group and just tried to settle into my predicted 5:45-ish pace. I managed to just about keep to this, passing 10k in around 35:50. I started to suffer a bit after this and found myself cursing at the 2 or 3 small hills on the course, seeing my pace slowing to 6:15 at times (the downside to garmin watches!).
But with every uphill comes a downhill and despite slowing a little I managed to pick the pace back up and hit 10miles at a little over 58mins.
My last 3 miles felt quite strong and managed to pick off a few, those long intervals and 18milers paying off.
The finish line couldn’t come soon enough, coming home in a time of 76:13.
This puts me well on track to a sub 2:45 showing at Frankfurt and hopefully a fair bit under.
Cardiff was a great half marathon, conditions were good, fast course (apart from 2-3 sneaky hills) and always a class field with great support all the way round.
I’m also entered for the Cardiff half marathon in March next year, which will double up as the IAAF world champs and apparently the same course. At least I’ll know about the last hill at 11.5miles, although not sure that’s a good thing!