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                                       Newark 1/2m 2009
Looking out my window today you wouldn't believe that it was
blisteringly hot weather yesterday on the 9th August 2009. Well, I
suppose it had to be like that because that was the date of the Newark
half marathon, and nearly every year it is the same apparently. When I
got back to my car after the race the temperature gauge said 33
degrees. I couldn't really argue with that as the temperature inside
the car wasn't that different from outside.

I had come into this race feeling fit - if not very well rested as a
result of a week at Center Parcs with its paper thin walls - and
thought a sub 90 minute performance was pretty certain. Standing on
the start line in the heat I thought I could still do it, even if a
bit slower than I wanted.

My mouth is dry after 3 miles and I'm looking around for the water
station. One cup of water over the head, and a quick sip from another
cup, and that is my pattern for most of the way round. Some sponges
would have been appreciated as well as cups of water, and while I'm
thinking of it isotonic drinks on the route as well, but only cups of
water were on offer. At the final drinks station before the finish I
stop for the first time. What's the point in carrying on? I grab 2
drinks here, and a third cup goes over the head. I'm annoyed by the
comment of the woman marshall at the drinks station: "I like the
walkers." I'm not a walker! I'm off running again, but despite my
anger and frustration find it hard to raise much of a sprint even at
the finish.

The best way to describe the Newark half is:- A blur of concrete,
streets, cars and byepasses. There is no scenery to mention, and I'd
only come here because it looked like a fast course. So much for that,
never mind! After 13 miles I stagger towards the Market Square. Yes, I
had warmed up here earlier and my legs had felt good, but now they
feel slow and sluggish and I stumble apathetically across the finish
line.

1:35:22

I need a drink. Where's the water? Down the funnel, a chap hands me an
entry form for the Worksop half with the words "Well done, Clowne",
but still no water anywhere. There's the t-shirts but I don't give a
damn about the t-shirts, oh perhaps I'll get one before the water
then, finally I see the water stand across the square and help myself
to a pint. I walk around in a daze looking for some shade. I go to the
Lucozade nutrition stand where they're giving out free samples. I help
myself to a recovery bar and a recovery powder. Now, in my confused
state it is a nightmare trying to open the thing. Even when I'm not
exhausted I have trouble open packets like this. I gnaw at it
despairingly. I have a bright idea of asking the Lucozade girl if she
has a pair of scissors. She just points out that there's a point on
the packaging which is designed to be ripped open. I stagger off
towards the shade while ripping at the packet with my teeth. I cover
my face with the sugary powder before adding it to my water.

Several pints of water later and another Lucozade recovery bar I
stagger back towards the car.

Next year I'll know better and go and Race the Train....
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