Monday, 31 March 2008

Half Marathon PB in Switzerland

What a difference a week makes. 5 days after running 31.50 for 10km I was able to string together back to back 10kms at the same speed to win the Rhylauf Half Marathon in a personal best time of 1hr 07min 12 secs. Ok, so my previous half marathon best was pretty poor but its good to have something better than a marathon halfway split as a PB.

Yet again the Swiss put on a terrific event, this time in the Rhine valley town of Oberriet, close to Lichtenstein. A flat 2 lap course with good running surface and an abundance of water stops played host to the Swiss Championships so this seemed like a perfect race to step into in search of a testing run. Starting mid afternoon on the warmest day of the year so far threw in an extra dimension. The hot early pace (2.57 through the km mark) barely dented the lead group and at 5km a group of 10 had gathered. Being a championship race the pace was erratic with surges, counter-surges and brief periods of respite all mixed together. Initially I had my work cut out just staying on the back on the group.

Once things settled down the group was gradually reduced to 5 then 3 as I tried to explain in my rubbish German that I was British and so not in the Swiss Championship race. It was a strange sensation because I felt obliged to keep out of the way and not try and affect the outcome of the race. I know what it is like with guests in my home championship races and they can change the outcome unwittingly. By 15km the Swiss medals seemed to have been decided and I was able to come alongside Patrick Wieser and start racing. Patrick had done the hard work to get rid of his countryman only to find a foreign invader with fresh legs come to the front ! We raced side by side back towards Oberriet for a few kilometres until I was able to pull away in the closing stages to take the win. The Swiss guys seemed happy with how things turned out as they were there for the medals.


1 Marriott Adrian Yeovil 1972 Senioren M35 / 1 1:07:12.2 Diplom
2 Wieser Patrick Aadorf 1979 Männer Hauptklasse / 1 1:07:30.7 Diplom
3 Tschopp Marcel Winterthur 1974 Männer Hauptklasse / 2 1:07:50.1 Diplom
4 Menzi Christoph Forch ZH 1984 Männer Hauptklasse / 3 1:08:21.1 Diplom
5 Ançay Tarcis Ayer VS 1970 Senioren M35 / 2 1:08:30.5 Diplom

In the news:
Swiss Athletics

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