Retford Half Marathon.
Sunday 6th March 2022
Report by Oli Constable
“Perfect weather for racing” was the text from my dad as I got out of the car at Retford. So with t shirt, jumper, coat, scarf and gloves on, I turned up at the start line in good time, for once.
Retford is a race I vowed never to do again after I totally messed up the 2020 event by setting off like Usain Bolt and then struggling for the remaining 20km.
So with a bit more a plan and the now-famous Julie Bembridge as my pacing partner, we waved goodbye to fellow DRC’er Mike Robinson as he eyed glory.
The course is a great mix of urban and rural roads. It’s probably the flattest route I’ve run, with a slight incline across a few miles near the end. Our (Julie’s) plan was to start steady and then build speed towards the end, which worked to perfection. I left her and Phil from Clowne Road Runners (who seemed to know everyone and was constantly saying hello to someone during the run) at the 9 mile mark to push on for a PB.
A gel was much needed in the final push, as I remembered tackling the painful hill on tired legs in 2020, but sadly that mainly ended up down my arm after the sachet split. A quick wash at the drinks station stopped my hands being glued together and I had the finishing straight in sight.
A sprint finish rounded off a great day and eventual half marathon PB - by almost six minutes.
Is it even a race day without a large Big Mac at the nearest McDonalds post-run? Mr Bolt better be worried. He’d have won a lot more if Bembridge paced him!