Wolverhampton Half Marathon – 06/09/2009

We hear from Phil Griffiths, who has been having hilly “fun” in Wolverhampton with a dodgy knee…

The Wolverhampton Half Marathon was more of a challenge than I was expecting if I am totally honest about it, however I think this was mainly due to an injury I sustained about 4 weeks previous; while helping some people push their broken down car off the road in the pouring rain, doing this I slipped slamming my knee into the ground, this incident left me unable to train for over a week and then even then the sensible thing was to work back in slowly and comfortably. In the weeks prior to this I was doing 10 and 11 mile runs in under an hour and a half so I was eager to get back out as soon as possible.
The race itself was quite mentally challenging, but something I enjoyed, after reading reviews on Runners World about the course, someone had mentioned a hill toward the end of the course (at around 11 miles) that they found quite demoralizing, taking this on board I had myself prepared mentally, I remember looking at my Garmin it was reading 11.07 miles, ahead was a short but steep hill and I remember thinking “that cannot possibly be it!” I was correct, I powered up this hill and down the other side only to find what my fellow runner was talking about, it was a hill that stretched almost the whole way to the finish line, a relatively light grade but sustained. This was difficult but I found myself pushing on through the pain and finished in under 2 hours at: 01:59:34.  
When I injured my knee I was worried about whether I would be able to participate at all, but given that and challenge the run presented me with I am happy with this time and can’t wait to see improvements across the next two half marathons in Birmingham and Coventry.
My only criticism of the race was that we seemed to be running with typical road traffic passing us an awful lot with no barriers between us, something I’ve not really encountered much before in a race.
Overall, a positive experience though.

A good showing with the knee, the hill and the traffic!