Linda Howell reports: I entered this race as a build up to the London Marathon and because Ric’s friend Susanne was doing it. So after Susanne pulled out with a bad ankle and I’d decided against running London I was torn whether or not to do it.
As my knee had held up on Saturday, I’d already paid the entry and it was “only” 13.1 miles I decided to go…and I was glad I did.
10,000 runners had entered the race and as advised I arrived early to soak up the sun, the atmosphere and the free lucozade jelly beans. Having entered the pens early to get a good spot 30 minutes before the off, I was very jealous of the guys when they announced a 15 minute delay to the start who were able to leap the barriers and err, water the surrounding foliage.
Happily the delay was reduced to 5 minutes and I edged towards the front to watch the elite wheel chair race, of which David Weir was one, go off a minute before us.
The sun was shining, the wind was light and the course was flat….ish. As with every half marathon, I had my ups and downs. I trotted along well to about 6 miles and was loving that there were lots of opportunities to see runners spread out ahead and behind, it was pretty inspirational stuff! A brief pit stop, which I felt to be very appropriate to my surroundings, meant a couple of minutes off course, but I managed to get back onto the group I had been running with and push on through some “demons” as Matt Slater would call them.
No-one warned me that the last mile was up hill, it is, but somewhere between being surrounded by other runners going through the same pain, the music over the loud speakers and knowing I was nearly there I ignored the blisters and the knee pain and my legs being none to pleased with me and pushed hard to the finish crossing the line in 1:30:22 (9th woman).
It was a really enjoyable and well organised race, another XL t-shirt procured in the goody bag did beg the question “how difficult can it be to just ask people their size..?”, but otherwise a very enjoyable way to spend a day, running through the pits to “Reach for the Sky” and very nearly busting a few moves was a moment not to be forgotten ☺ (Those around me should be glad I didn’t sing along!).