(Runner blog post) VLM 2011 – A race of two halves!

A brief reflection on my VLM 2011 experience. Under cloudy skies it started broadly to plan and I was going pretty well, taking in the atmosphere from the phenomenal crowds and encouraged by frequent chants of StevOOOO!! At c.8.5 miles Anthony did very well to recognise my apparently familiar “chuff-chuff” before he saw me alongside! – a fumbled handshake and on we separately went …

I was still feeling good going thru the ½ way mark, although a tad too fast (c.1:45) in hindsight given the rising heat! At 14 miles the roars of support from the CR team and my “crew” provided a fantastic boost – it was great to spot and salute them!…..

However, after c.18 miles the heat and my early pace really started taking their toll and I had to dig deep to keep up some sort of form – urging myself on by constantly repeating the strange mantra “Relax, Fuel, Go”.I got into a zone oblivious to almost everything around me…. unfortunately that included missing the CR supporters screaming their hearts out at me again at 21.5 miles!!…

In the last few miles it seemed like an out of body experience at times – I was questioning my sanity and telling myself never again!… Shortly after collecting my medal, I was v. fortunate to spot Lizzy and it was great to compare PB notes amidst the exhilaration, relief and raw emotions of the moment. Great time for Lizzy, particular as she injured her ankle and hence took some discretely stored substance en route! Anthony must have crossed the line around the same time, impressively catching me back up to record a similar PB – they both gave me a lesson in sensible pacing!

Phew! – what a day.

Steve 19/4/11

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