The Watford Half returned a popular road race best known for its undulating hills, one of the clubs favourite, a great race to take part at the beginning of the year.
There were around 35 Queens Park Harriers who took part from the club some running the Watford Half for the first time.
Training plans were consistent, aiming for 28 to 30 k at least during the weekday.
Two days before I headed to Worthing met some friends and relatives.
The Morning before I ran the Worthing Park Run, one of my favourites with my Mum and Sister. At the start of Worthing Park run, was great to also see Martin and Neil from QPH.
Big Day arrives
The Sunday morning I left at 8am at Wembley Station and saw Johan Ekblom, who was headed to the same race.
We got there early at Cassiobury Park Watford, where we saw several excited Hoopsters. The set up was very different, the Marquee wasn’t present however, and there were small tents for collection of race numbers and bag drop off.
The community spirit was alive in full force. There were pacers at the start of the race at different finishing time. I started with Susan K at the sub 2-hour mark, an incredible inspiration and support. The moment arrived the race started; I took off in my usual fashion.
I said Good morning to Louis, of Sudbury Court, when I went past. The first mile or so I took it easy, the road was narrow then the road got clearer with the open space. With the first hill I used the track sessions, and my hill training going forward, driving your arms, sprinting up the hills consistent pace, as my thoughts were to keeping going.
When I went past the water station normally I have a tendency to stop, in previous races, however this time I took the water bottle and raced ahead, continued with pace. Early on in the race I saw Anastasia and Sageet, running so brilliantly. The hills around midway were tough, as physically running on hills is a challenge, however as I continued with the hill intervals I said to my self this is like the Everest for running.
I heard Gilly, Fiona, Natalie behind me with several moments, I was ahead then they were ahead, then by the 8th mile, Fiona, and Gilly, took off with brilliant speed, they made it look so easy, as I couldn’t see them afterwards.
By the 8th Mile, saw James W and Victor, special thanks for their support and to Susan K and to Natalie, who I saw ahead. By the 9th Mile, what was best-described small lake I went past through the water was very cold.
Soon after I could hear James, W shouting, “ Come on Chetan “, great support, thank you James. There was also brilliant, support from Fiona, Gilly, special thanks to Natalie for their support.
Near the 13 mile, I waved to my Mum and Sister. There was about 800m to go to the finishing line when I saw James W sprinting forward to the very end. Going ahead saw several Hoopsters who finished earlier, incredible support and great atmosphere at the race.
The challenge of the hills could be felt, as I could feel the aching pain, yet it was an absolutely brilliant day. I managed to complete the race in 2h 07 minutes.
Two year ago it had taken me 2h 29 minutes, this was a PB for a half marathon and a personal best for also Watford Half.
Special congratulations to our President Jen Armson for second place female and to Ali Matheson who was fourth make home. Congratulations to Maurice Quike and Sophie Barnard, each fifth in the age categories, great running.
Special thanks to the coaches at track and the Sunday runs.
What an incredible day of running, great start to 2022, well done to every one.