It was not the best preparation for this year’s Clarendon Way Half Marathon- Emma was up twice in the night and threw up in the car just as Christine dropped me off at the start. My throat was also a bit rough (probably having burnt it on the previous night’s dinner though rather than illness!). Then I bought a gel, only to leave it in my bag that was going on the bus to the finish. I was therefore pleasantly surprised to settle in to second place in the first half of the race. I thought the pace was a bit fast but eventually calculated that it wasn’t going to see me back in much under my guesstimated target time of 90 minutes. As we approached the half way stage at Farley Mount, I started to wonder whether I might actually come first as the young lad I was running with needed a bit of a push up the hill. As on previous descents , he pegged it off down the other side but I reeled him yet again and we wound through the woods and finally broke him in the next muddy ascent. I felt surprisingly good at this point, not least for being out in front, and pushed it a bit harder, particularly on the climbs which seemed all too numerous in the closing stages. At 1:27:36 or thereabouts it wasn’t my fastest Clarendon Half but the other times all date back to when it was run over the Salisbury end which is definitely flatter. I’m not too worried about the time though – it was just nice to finally win a race. Mind, I shan’t be too disappointed if I have to stay at home tomorrow and look after Emma as my legs aren’t looking forward to the cycle in to work!