(Richmond is a beautiful and leafy place).
Half marathons in London are hard to come by so I'll take whatever I can get. This half was run by Ranelagh running club, but checked the results and I was sure I would not be the last in, not to be honest that that would bother me, my new mantra is only watch what I'm doing and no one else.
The weather looked to be nice, the starting point was in front of a hill, there were a few toilets but not many the the queue as usual was ridiculous, so I went into a near by field, found a secluded spot away from the cows, yes I did say cows and done what I had to do.
(Quite a lot of the run took place by the Thames, it was very scenic and pretty, but that didn't take away the pain that running brings).
The start was a bit mad, everyone came down into the road and then there was a noise and we were off. we had a police escort for a bit of the way then were left to our own devices.I saw another sister just before the start who I said hello to and there were a couple of brothers but that was it, the majority of the runners looked like serious club runners.
Don't ask what I'm doing cause I really don't know, obviously adjusting myself, did not expect Mr I love taking pictures of my girlfriend to be snapping away at this most intimate moment!
Love the t-shirts these ladies are wearing.
The route was a mix of road running, trial running, where there were beautiful riverside houses and boats sailing around, some bits were a little dangerous, there was one point we were running on a busy road in the cycle lane, as there was no pavement, the cycles had to go further out to avoid us and big vans and fast cars were whizzing past, not a great part of the course.
This is how Rob kept himself busy while waiting for me, he has a new flashy camera and is putting it to good use.
Mile 8-9 was a bit of a struggle kept up the pace but mentally it started to get a bit tough, maybe because there was still a long way to go!
It was pretty flat, and very pretty even the built up areas were not like my built up areas they were leafy and very suburban. My Garmin decided to pack up well it didn't pack up, but it told me it could not take in anymore data, so that was it mile 10 I was on my own, about mile 10 and a half I jumped into a bush to go to the toilet, I really needed it so just took a chance, there were a few nettles around, but I was just careful where I put my butt and it all ended well.
Nutrition and water was going well, still had no idea what I was doing time wise I just kept trying to push, the next time I thought the next time I would see Rob was at the end, but low and behold at around 11:30, there he was again, shooting away.
Then a fisherman decided he wanted to catch me rather than a fish and I was all tangled up in a line, I couldn't see it but I knew it was tangled up in my legs. He and Rob came to the rescue and I was free again yaaah, which I was very happy about as I had just passed a bunch of ladies who had been walking and I didn't want them to pass me again!
My body was holding up well, yes I was tired but not marathon tired so I kept that in mind and kept pushing, still no idea what my timing was like, I was thinking that I must've been way off my target!
Just before mile 12 a skinny white girl was starting to slow down in front of me and as I passed she asked me for some water,I knew my Nathan speed 2, superheroine thingy would come in useful, I told her is was an energy drink mix, but she was fine with that, I gave her the bottle that I had yet to drink from and my eyes almost bulged out of my head as she proceeded to drink 75 percent of it, good job I was near the finish. She was saying how hard it was and how tired she was, but I told her we really didn't have long to go and to keep going, I ran off, then turned back a minute later remembering I had some sports beans left, which I shared with her as well.
Kept going and before I knew it mile 13 was upon me, Rob and his camera were there to catch me again, you can see how happy I am, and I was happy, in fact I was estatic that the end was near, just look at that big smile on my face in the middle picture, I've just spotted the finish, praise the Lord.
The end was in a small park, got my medal, bananas and water aplenty, was just glad it was all over, my time was 2 hours 21 minutes and 57 seconds.
I was quite surprised, the toilet stop, the girl who stopped me for water, the fisherman who almost hooked me added time, but I still managed to match my second best time for a half marathon, with no drama, no crash and burning, no tears, no regrets, just pure joy.
Yaaaaaaaaaaah, all done!
The weather was fine, a tiny bit of rain but it was cool and refreshing, but for the majority of the time the sun shone down on us. There was a good amount of water stations, runners were friendly as were the marshalls, lovely medal, great organisation. Great value for money only £18, good parking at the finish, but a bit of a walk from there to the start. I didn't feel out of place not being a club runner and the faster runners applauded us slower ones as they passed us by on their way home, medals already fastened around their necks. Not much spectators accepet those who came to cheer their people on, but that was fine and did not take away from the event.
Not many, just that bit of the course where the runners had to take their lives into their own hands,vying for road space with cars. Toilets were sparse in the beginning, but whats new, I guess runners can never have enough toilets, and I am becoming very apt at finding accomodating bushes. I want to say a personal thank you to the two bushes which helped me out, without you I would not of been able to finish.
The first picture is of me congratulating the girl who asked me water, She had been really struggling so I was glad to see she made it to the finish in one piece.
We stopped for 5 mins on the way home to take a picture,Richmond is very beautiful, and there I am all nice and snug in the car, have not found a half marathon for June yet, there are a few but they clash, fingers crossed I find one and get to keep my challenge of a running a half marathon every month until at least September going.
I won't be wearing those running tights again, they are so unflattering, yes I know I got weight to lose, but shit everything is bursting out, so they can retire for a bit, actually I won't be wearing running tights for a while not until I think I look decent in them, but I'm not vain and I'm on a journey so even though I am not happy with the way I look in my pictures I don't mind putting them, up I am what I am at the moment but I'm working towards something better.