Peck Races Liverpool Half in Promising Buildup to London

McCarkiss HQ was overjoyed to receive word from its Northern Branch on the recent progress of Jude Peck, the club’s VMLM Club Place Ballot Winner (MCKEPVMLMCEBW for short). Jude writes…

As the sole female ‘first claim’ representative of the club, and the incredibly grateful recipient of the London Marathon place, I felt it only right to update you of my progress; partly to readdress the male / female balance of write ups, and partly to make you all feel amazing about your own running. Reading about 5 min mile splits is quite simply bonkers!

After a seemingly slow and grumpy start to marathon training which saw the Sunday group honouring me with the crown of ‘most moaning’ runner I secretly began to enjoy the training and Tony’s running plan. Whilst the group sessions were enjoyable, far more worrying to me were the races dotted into plan over the coming months.

As someone who avoids races at all costs, and indeed someone who only seems to pick races with a short course, my power of 10 is something that can be glanced, digested and forgotten in seconds. Tony’s plan however would see me doing more road races in 4 months than I’d done in the 4 years I’d been running.

I dread races. I worry all week, and then when I get to the race any pre made plans go out of the window and I find my self shuffling to the back of the start group and apologising for being there (much to Tony’s disgust). Despite this, I’m proud to say I’ve done every one planned, albeit without the intensity I should have. Liverpool half at the weekend being a prime example.

The build up to the half was not the best. I’d moved house that week and done two hard sessions that week (one of which I bailed on part way round) and I’d managed to run 60 + miles ( a heck of a lot for me) for the last couple of weeks.

Having realised I’d forgotten to enter, and then not being able to enter as McCarkiss (not listed) [most likely blacklisted following unresolved claims of Wirral Half 2013 being short] I finally entered as a Northern Vet on Thursday night. Sunday morning came and the plan was just to run at Marathon pace. Following a highly scientific and well thought out strategy, I decided if I could say ‘thank you very much’ to all the marshals, do an ‘oggy oggy oggy’ whilst running through the tunnel and experiencing, at worse, mild discomfort and boredom, then that would suffice as MP.

The race started well, my silent breathing (also in the strategy) was peppered with lots and lots of ‘thank you’s’. I was actually enjoying it. Two girls were running near me and despite not racing, I decided that one had a bottom that was genuinely not worthy of being in front of me, so I felt compelled to pass her. 6 miles into the race and through into the tunnel and I was ready to chant in my best singing voice, although on looking round at the ‘eyes down’ runners, this was clearly not on their agenda so I thought it best to give it a miss.

7 miles into the race and I realised I’d passed the 1.30 pacer. This was most definitely not planned. I panicked and slowed. Onto mile 8 and 9 and into the headwind for the last 4 miles where I felt a bit peed off when a small group of men decided that rather than help shelter me from the wind, they would instead choose to run on my heels. At 5ft3 I wasn’t going to be much of a barrier and so much for chivalry!

The last mile was a strange one, with slower runners finishing the 10 mile race and merging with the half marathon runners over a narrow stretch of cobbles. These runners clearly had no intent of moving out of the way, being way too engrossed in their conversations to even notice us having to run out of our way to pass them. Haha, god that makes me sound dreadful! Round the last corner and through the finish.

1.30.04, 13th woman, a PB and a thank you from one of the men who ran on my heels who apparently thought I’d done a great job of pacing! I certainly hadn’t expected this time, especially having had such a thoroughly enjoyable race. A little bit of me is miffed as if I’d have been 4 seconds quicker I’d have championship entry for London next year!

McCarkiss Athlete Jude Peck with bodyguard Dave 'short shorts' Gill

McCarkiss Athlete Jude Peck with bodyguard Dave ‘short shorts’ Gill

I’m looking forward to London. I have no expectations, but I am just grateful to have the opportunity to be part of such an iconic race. I’ve loved the training and (said very quietly) have even begun to enjoy some of the races.

Good luck to you proper runners. Have a great race and don’t start at the back! X

At this rate, Jude will be challenging half of the Men’s team at London! We’ll keep fans updated with the progress of McCarkiss Athletes on race day via the group Facebook page, and in summary via the blog.

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