2015 Ipswich Half Marathon Review by Martin Parish

The Ipswich half marathon was suggested to me only 10 days before the event and I have done little distance training since I dropped out of the Brighton Marathon training due to injury.  I completed the Southend Half with no training mainly due to the fact that I was surrounded by orange, the spectators were amazing and we were running for a purpose (not to mention Catherine O’Keeffe dragging me across the finish line).

I completed a 20km Sunday run the week before and found it tough, but with better loading of food and fluids, decided I’d be ok for Ipswich.

Lifts were arranged at we planned to met at one of Rich’s relatives, just a short walk from Christchurch Park.  As we drove into Ipswich my Sat Nav became skitty, but were saved as Rich pulled up behind so we followed him to the rendezvous point. Big thanks to said relatives for a coffee and use of facilities.

Christchurch Park is impressive and reminds me of the Royal Parks such as Bushy.  The event was well organised and marshals and volunteers available to assist.

The start is a steady incline out of the park and the advice to keep a steady pace was observed by myself, Rich, Maggie and Karen.  Rich said he’d like to push a bit so we let him go.

I made a conscious effort to support Karen during the hills.  Maggie didn’t need it, she was like a whippet on the inclines.  Focussing on running uphill with Karen really helped me as it distracted me from the fact that I was hurting, big time.  My glutes are my current weak point and they were definitely being worked on the inclines and the fast descents.  What amazed me was having completing an incline, Karen immediately increased back to race pace and I really struggled to get back to pace to keep up.

The marshals and spectators were very encouraging and the water stations provided bottled water which I find much easier that a cup.  I was expecting more Jaffa runners and only noticed a few.

While Karen had her Jelly Babies, which is readily shared, I carried Jelly Beans.  The shock of flavour and sugar was a useful jolt away from the pain.  With about 1km to go, having just passed a collapsed runner, I become very light headed and started seeing stars in front of my eyes.  A handful of Jelly Beans bought me back and I realised that I had lost Karen and Maggie.  I’m not sure how long I had run without them, bit worrying, but a definite wake up call to monitor myself more when running.

The course is emotionally and physically demanding and I must admit that I couldn’t have done it without the Flyers support.  My time was 2:26:33, compared to 2:24:07 for the Southend Half, I’m really happy with.  A small but powerful turnout by the Flyers.  Same again next year?

Guy Hurst 1:57:02

Anna Watkins 2:04:52

William Bowen-Davies 2:11:13

Rich Prior 2:09:38

Martin Parish 2:26:33

Maggie Campbell-Freeman 2:27:33

Karen LS 2:27:33

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