Finally a sub-2 with a 1:56:50 (garmin time, official time was 1:57:30. rank: 87/494) at the F1 Fastest Half Marathon at the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida, organized by Running and Living, after like 9 years of running! Previous best was a 2:04:16 at the 2006 Hyderabad Half. I think I would top any survey for taking the longest time to do this Somehow, all previous attempts (usually around ADHM) had failed miserably, mostly to injuries trying to pick up pace in training.
This attempt however had lesser chances of failure. Firstly, I had not specifically trained for it (which ruled out injuries), so no fast paced runs (nothing below 6/km in training except for a 5:36/km 10K last Wed), no real speed workouts. Most of the training this season was short slow training runs for a half (6:30/km or slower), and participating in a variety of events, half, marathon, ultra, Devil’s Circuit and Xwarrior obstacle races. I think it was finally down to the fitness I built up in participating in these variety of events, which made it comfortable to hold a 5:30/km pace for most of the run, and running over all the climbs without any walking.
The BIC F1 venue was fantastic, and something to be experienced by every runner. The two laps on the F1 track were just the ideal balance to not make it too tough (the track has significant elevation changes unlike what the GPS maps of it I have seen will make me believe), but still good enough to test you and provide variety. The two alternate laps outside of the track were flat and helped with the recovery after doing the track lap. The race management was awesome, water points at about 2.5K each with water/gatorade, good marking of turns, etc, great photography. Weather was just perfect too.
My son Sameer did his first ever 5K event. He did it in style, running all the way, and finishing strong with a sprint in about 34 mins. I started withHe did it in style, running all the way, and finishing strong with a sprint in about 34 mins.
What next? I am looking at working more on my speed. So no more long distance runs for the next few months (that eliminates any ultras). Tentatively, I am looking at Hyderabad Marathon (Aug 24th), Bengaluru Marathon (Oct 19), ADHM, Bhatti Ultra 50K (Oct), Bangalore Ultra 50K (Nov), Gurgaon Marathon (Dec) and SCMM 2015 as the key races for the next season.