My original plan was to use the Redcar Half Marathon as a way of getting a qualification time for next years London Marathon but I later found out my time from the Edinburgh 2010 marathon counts so I changed my mind as I felt I would struggle anyway going off my last couple of race results. I was struggling with the 10k races having recently returning to racing from injury so I felt the 13.1 miles of the half marathon might just be too much too soon but when I received an email from England athletics saying I was now eligible for team competition it gave me a new incentive to get myself there. I arrived in plenty of time and for a change it was nice and sunny which gave me time to have a bit of a walk about and think about the race ahead, I had no need to run a time trial for a qualification time so it was all about position and that is what my plan was as I took my place on the start line. The race started and I made a real effort to make sure I wasn't trying too hard and found myself in a largeish group of runners at the front, we passed the first mile marker in a real slow time which seemed a bit strange but by 2 miles I seemed to be some where near where I should of been. Not long after the 2 mile marker I eased up slightly as I started to struggle as 4 runners slowly but surely pulled away. I then found myself in a real battle with myself as I needed to slow down but also didn't want to loose position but the inevitable happened and I was passed some where near the 5 mile mark by 2 runners one of them being Andy Chaddfield of Billingham Marsh House who reminded me of that little devil on my shoulder that makes me set off too quickly in races, I attached myself onto the back of them which probably was a bad idea as I was already suffering and needed to recompose myself not speed up. We caught and passed the 4th placed runner Gary Jones of Morpeth Harriers and it didn't take long before I was forced to let them go and once again try and get into some sort of rhythm. Fellow club runner Vic Brundell came straight past around the 7 mile mark and by then I was really looking forward to reaching the turn point and heading back towards the finishing line.How shocked was I when I went round the roundabout and suddenly became aware of a gusty headwind.The familiar footsteps from behind warned my of another group of runners fast approaching and as they passed Gary Jones shouted to tag on which I managed to do and it didn't take long before I felt I had found that elusive rhythm I was looking for. I was on my limit but not going over it so things felt much better and as the latter miles passed by the ground on the runners up ahead was starting to narrow, in the last mile I found myself in a battle with Gary Jones for 8th place but instead of killing him off I found myself urging him on as he had done a lot of hard work into the wind when I was suffering with around 200 metres to go I pulled away and opened a good enough gap and as I slowed to cross the mat he darted past me to take the 8th place. To be honest he deserved that 8th place more than me so I was happy to take 9th in 75 minutes 51 seconds. Only 43 seconds behind Andy Chaddfield in 4th so not to bad in the end. What made the day for me was to find out later that North York Moors had won the team competition, so it was worth my while going.
After the race instead of heading straight back home we carried on up the coast to Saltburn for some well earned fish and chips and a walk round. I just need to get my self recovered and ready for my new adventure of the 40 mile Lyke Wake Walk come Friday