Sheffield Half Marathon: Part 6 - Race day

Reporter Lee Peace.
Reporter Lee Peace.

Sheffield Star reporter Lee Peace has been bringing you regular reports about how training has been going for the Sheffield Half Marathon, which took place on Sunday, April 9. Here is how the race went for him. Feel free to share your experiences of taking part on the Star's Facebook and Twitter pages.

So after months of training the big day finally arrived, and it was hot. Very hot.

Runners get on their way.

Runners get on their way.

Unusually warm weather meant the mercury hit the 21C mark, and this was barely after 9am in the morning.

Fortunately unlike the infamous year in which there was no water at the rehydration stations, this year good old H20 was in good supply. However, I still felt my target of finishing in under two hours might be in jeopardy.

It was great to see so many people running for different causes. Some at the front were gunning to beat their personal best while at the back of the queue at the start line were many people in fancy dress. I positioned somewhere in the middle, around the two hour marker.

Despite being an experienced runner I always manage to worry myself only two or three miles in as I take note that I am unusually out of breath with another ten miles to go.

This happens every year and I think my lungs just need a kick to get going.

Fortunately by the time I reached the 'King of the Hill' stage at the top of Ringinglow Road I regained my composure and started to get into a rhythm.

As we trudged up the hill I noticed a pack of us had formed around the one hour 55 minutes pacemaker. Plenty of us had the same idea - stick with the pacemaker and then burn him off in the last 100 metres or so. That's the plan anyway.

Everyone breathes a sigh of relief as they reach the top before heading downhill through the countryside - the relief however is short lived.

For there are two or three more hills out in the open before winding your way back towards Ecclesall Road South and into the city centre.

I assumed I was making good time as I hit the halfway stage but a huge clock told me I was at one hour and seven minutes - a little behind schedule.

Fortunately, it is fair to say the second half of the race is far more forgiving. The roads snake back downhill towards the city centre.

I hit the wall at about 11 miles, but the cheering crowds - and a jellybean or two being handed out - helped me to get to the final push.

On Ecclesall Road, myself and the assorted pack overtook the pacemaker and went for it. Fortunately, I didn't see him again and managed to get over the finish line in a time of one hour and 57 minutes.

A free beer at the end was extremely welcome.

That you all for reading my columns, and thank you to everyone who donated to my fundraising page which is approaching the £200 mark for Weston Park Hospital.

Here's to next year.