A week after the Course Morat-Fribourg and a week before the half-marathon we were in the taper phase, so our mileage wasn’t very high. It just happened that October 11th, the last Sunday before the Big Day, a local race was ran here where I live: the 4 miles of Groningen. It is quite a large event with 23 000 participants, and it fit into the training plan just too well to not register for it.
It is hard to describe how wonderful this race was. The day was extremely cold (9°C with strong, cold wind) and the course was flat (so different compared to the previous race!) and straight. Basically, you run in an (almost) straight line from one city to another, with hundreds of people cheering and music and a great spirit. There was one bridge above train tracks that gas a tiny bit of elevation, and that’s it.
These three features (cold temperature, flat and straight course) resulted in a great pace. Lately, I am not feeling fast at all and having consistent runs under 6min/km is a challenge. However, during this race, we had a very even pace around 5:47 min/km tough the whole time and, to our surprise, finished in just over 37 minutes.
There was one water station along the course and, overall, it was well organised and ran smoothly. The only downside was maybe that the warm-up podium was along the starting corrals and we were literally less than two minutes there; after a couple of jumping jacks we were already gone. It felt super cold so we kept moving not to freeze our bits off, but a proper warm-up would be welcome, too!
We were very, very happy with the race and how it went for us. I’ll probably sign up next year, too!
Distance: 4 miles (6.437km)