On Sunday I ran in the 2009 Morecambe Cross-Bay half-marathon. Last year’s race was turned back half-way due to poor weather so I signed up soon afterwards for this year’s race, determined to complete the crossing. The race goes from Flookburgh to Hess Bank directly across Morecambe Bay at low tide. It’s an amazing location for a race, although the lack of scenery means there is nothing to stop the wind.
The race itself was hard work. The first few miles went well as the wind was behind me and I put on a good pace. We forded the river Kent, which was up to my thighs, about 4-5 miles in I think. This slowed the pace down to 2 mph, but allowed me to catch my breath. After that came several miles running into the wind.
While the wind wasn’t as bad as last year, it was still hard and unrelenting. I had to force myself to slow down, giving up the good time I’d made at the start of the race. By the time we reached the 8-mile stage I was exhausted and felt strangely sad – probably because I knew I had another 45-60 minutes left.
My spirits lifted at the final water station, when the route went with the wind for a bit. I stopped for a drink then set off on the final stage. The final couple of miles were into the wind again and I ended up going as fast as I could near the end, just wanting to get the race over with. I was shattered by the time I reached the finish line.
I’m not sure I enjoyed the race, as such, but it was an amazing experience. I was pleased with the pace I set, just over 9 minutes a mile despite wind and water. I came in 111th out of 239 with an offical time of 1 hour 50 minutes and 57 seconds (note that my GPS had the race distance as 12.15 miles)
Below are a couple of photos of the race. In the one taken at the finish line I’m smiling because I’m so happy it’s almost over.