So having vowed never to do any Liverpool half marathons again last summer as there is only so much running along Otterspool Prom into the wind any sane man can take, here I am Sunday morning and the alarm goes as the same time as my work alarm. I have for my sins decided to do the 2016 Vitality Liverpool Half Marathon. Part of it was the fact that as I am in peak marathon training mode it would be nice to do a gentle 13 miles. Well the weather gods were with me and a cracking day to run and a slight tail wind along the prom which beats last years 30mph in your face with driving rain. It was so nice that my comfy hooded top was ditched and I was going short sleeved. No question about shorts as whatever the weather I always run in shorts. This year my 17 year old nephew James was doing his first race and we had been for a nice 7 miles training run earlier on in the week. Paddy Power had us both at 4/5 to win. In my advantage was that I had already run 20 miles in training against was the fact I am the top end of 16 stone. As for James well he had managed just one 10 miles run but the advantage of youth and slenderness might pay dividend. On the way to the start the PA mentions the name of the oldest male and female runners and I noted their numbers to see how they got on.
So as ever we travelled to the start line in luxury with a trip on the 82 bus. James had a group photo with the rest of some St Margarets school lads that were running and we headed off to the start and I said see you at the end. I did position myself by the 1 hour 50 pace man but the start is hectic and he was soon a bit of a distance ahead and I had not even crossed the start line. To be honest to nail that time I would have had to break a personal best (PB) for a 10k doing a half marathon as well. It was a big ask. A slight incline at the start is followed by an even bigger hill AKA Upper Parliament Street. It was clear I wasn’t going to get 1hr 50 but my PB of 01:58:06 could be achieved. Soon into my stride and into what I feel like is the boring Sefton Park section we were soon about 8 miles and running past friends and family in Aigburth Vale. I got a big cheer (Thanks for coming) and I could hear a cheer for James not long after. Hmmmm the power of youth was doing well. There wasn’t much more I could do as I regretted the beers and crisps I had for the match on Thursday. I decided to keep running my race as I was on course for a PB and if I speeded up to try and beat James I might crash and burn.
So the home stretch along the prom and with a slight tail wind it was getting hot as the sun was out and it was a lovely day. Around 12 miles I got a stitch at the same point as last year ?? I battled on and kicked for home with my traditional Steve Ovett style kick for home which must make me look like a knobhead in front of the many fans at the Pier Head but needs must. Over the line having given almost everything it was deffo a PB and another medal for the collection. I spotted James after the race and he seemed to think he was slower than me but it was all about chip times and it was going to be a very close thing. He told me one of his mates jibbed it around 6 miles by Sefton Park and jumped the 82 and then rejoined near the end for a boss time ha ha ha. Who needs drugs when you have Arriva busses.
Me and James posed for some pictures. He was made up with his time and medal and really enjoyed the race which is what it is all about really but we still had to wait for the official Fay championship assuming no other Fay’s had run and beaten us. So who was going to win Fat Fay or Thin Fay. After my shower at home I got a text through my time was 01:53:19 just under 5 mins from my PB I couldn’t ask for much more well not unless I give up sausage rolls and beer ! A quick jump onto the web site and young, thin, athletic and champion Fay (James) had nailed 01:51:59 beating uncle knobhead into second place. A great time for a first crack at things well done young James. Me well I have gone from 02:15:12 in 2013 to 01:53:19 in 2016. My dream of a late place for the Rio Olympics shattered and I now focus on the world hot dog eating championships to be held in America.
For the recored the oldest man who was over 80 I think got 02:38:35 which is amazing. The oldest Woman who was over 65 beat both me and James ha ha ha with 01:51:04. Well done. I did manage to overtake a banana on the home stretch but even he might have beat me on chip time.
Next up in just four weeks time is the Greater Manchester marathon as my aim is to break 5 hours. So next Sunday 21 miles followed by 22 the Sunday after then a two week wind down to race day and the big one. As mentioned I did decide to try and raise some money and this time its for Down Syndrome Liverpool (Banner link at the bottom of the blog or Text NFAY73 £1 to 70070 to sponsor me today. Thanks. http://www.justgiving.com/N-Fay )
So a great day and well done once again to James and all the other runners who completed the race and to all the volunteers who help. It isn’t really about times its about the dedication that you need to get around that 13 and a bit miles. Time for a well earned beer and I might even have a sausage roll. Thanks to the stranger on the train the other Sunday who told me about Leukotape that now preserves my nipples every time I run. I gave Mrs Fay the pleasure of ripping the Luukotape off after the race and she started to pull slowly on the tape. After a few expletives she soon got the message it needed ripping off fast and I lost two chunks of chest hairs all for the cause.
Fay x x x x x x x