Time of year: January
Value for money: 3
Crowd support: 1
PB potential: 2
Locality: The race takes place in a quiet suburb of Brno, near the airport.
Getting there: Brno-Turany can be reached using public transport connections from the city centre.
Webpage: http://www.lcc-wien.at/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=53&Itemid=28 (only in German)
My experience: I’ve never raced on New Year’s Day before, so it was a first for me but after arriving in this quet part of town I was strangely excited at the prospect, especially when I saw some of the other local faces I know and knowing I was nearly 7kg (yes 7!) heavier than when I normally race, due mainly to Christmas over-indulgence!
Still, I had my new Garmin FR70 to try out, and while I didn’t expect to run well I thought it would be fun.
It was about 0 degrees and when we started I was surprised to find myself at the front with the front runners. That shouldn’t have been so surprising because some of the best runners were not there – but I’ve never been at the front of a half marathon 6km in! I felt good and even started thinking about a podium finish until we started the climb to Mohyla Miru (the site where Napolean was beaten in Central Europe – it’s a local landmark). I didn’t realize it was such a long climb (3km) so when 3 guys tried to drop the rest of us at the start of it I went with them but I soon regretted this as I couldnn’t hold their pace and ended up dropping back to the second group. I then had to walk for a bit to get a breather and then finally started going again. Coming back down I tried to put in extra effort to make up some ground but it was too late.
To add to my problems I pulled a muscle after about 18km, trying for the final time to catch the guy in front of me and had to slow down a little. I finished in 1h25, 3 mins behind my friends and in 8th place overall. Still not bad considering, but I can see that I have some work to do for the summer!