Andy Baron started the year impressively with a very strong finishing time (in spite of horrible weather) in the Blackpool half marathon….

Andy's "I wish I'd worn a jacket" face


photo:Mick Hall

After falling foul of Fell Running Association equipment regulations and snow to miss out on a few winter Fell Runs I took part in my first race this year at the Great Northwest ½ Marathon in Blackpool on Sunday.

A well organised and friendly event run by Fylde Coast Events, I have ran three times now, they do a fantastic job whilst keeping it inexpensive and get over a thousand runners on a course that takes in a few laps of the Blackpool seafront between North Pier and Fleetwood. Great for experienced runners and first timers but every time I have run it the weather has been awful.

My aim was to go under 1:25 which would be a personal best. I was pleased to set off well running the first half in bang on 40 mins with the wind at my back but I couldn’t maintain the sub 6.30 min per mile pace required into strong wind and rain for most of the second half of the race. I came in tired, cold and wet at 1:27:48. Considering the weather conditions I am happy with the time as I couldn’t have run any harder and you can see how much fun I had in the picture.

I am having another bash at Half Marathon distance in March at Longleat Safari Park so hoping that the spring in Somerset will be kinder and I can dip under 1:25.