Wednesday, 9 April 2014

A Non-Anniversary : Bolt Round The Holt 2014

On Monday morning my TimeHop app informed me that on April 7th 2013 I posted a weekly update here. The update included a few lines on how I'd been spotted at the Bolt Round The Holt race by a friend I'd made some years back on a National Trust working holiday. Exactly one year ago today I posted my review of the event. One year on and I'm writing another post about the race, only this time the friend is now my boyfriend and I'd been talked into running it again to celebrate our anniversary of "not meeting".
Once again my parents were on hand to offer support, this time to both of us. They're pros at this sort of things now. They turned up with chairs, sandwiches, a clapper and the most incredible banner. They step up camp just past the drinks station after the lap point, exactly where they were the year before, so we passed them five times each.
Dad supplementing his packed lunch with a bacon roll - essential spectator fuel!
I re-read my review from last year, and in terms of the event itself there's not a lot to add, except that the warm up took place on flat ground rather than in a ditch like last time, and the race village was a little more compact. Oh and no t-shirt this year. If you wanted one you had to buy one for a mere £3.

My personal experience of the race was quite different though. Although we were both entered in the race we didn't run together as we have done in some other races. I think there's an unwritten rule that anything up to 10k we run together, anything more and the speed difference is too great at the moment so we ran our own races. Last year I didn't seem to mind the laps too much, I was pretty much at peak fitness being just a couple of weeks away from my first marathon, and I was pain free. This year I knew what was coming, I wasn't anywhere near as prepared and I had a niggle or two. It all seemed so much harder, despite wearing my Bournemouth marathon finishers t-shirt to remind myself I've done more than this in the past.
Coming in to the finish. It was a lonely place by that time.
My strategy was to walk the hills and run as much of the rest as I could. Lap 1 was a brutal reminder of what was to come and I probably went out too quickly. At the end of Lap 2 I was declaring that I didn't want to do this any more. On Lap 3 I snapped at a marshal who thought I was on my last lap, covered my number when I passed the photographer and had a bit of a cry at the water station. I got a hug from my mum and got worried that I'd been so slow they'd miss Colin finishing. My mantra of "everything I pass now I only have to pass once more" did not work and things were starting to hurt. On Lap 4 I apologised to the marshal and felt a bit better about everything, especially when I crossed the line and got a big hug from Colin. He ran a really great race; his 5th race and 4th half marathon in 5 weekends. I was a whole 8 minutes slower than last year but I was just glad to finish. I've decided I don't like lapped courses.

Awesome banner or what?!
I miss being able to knock out a respectable half marathon without thinking about it but that's purely down to maintaining a good base level of fitness, which I've not done. Races like that help me to keep MdS aspirations in check and to remember that there's more to races than times. They are also about shared experiences, surroundings and influenced by everything else in your life at that time.

And talking of shared experiences and celebrations, there was fizz and cake all round when we got home!

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