I’ve run a few races myself – and it’s one of the reasons (along with love of food) that Adrian and I get on so well. We don’t see size as a barrier to sport. In this week’s Gintlemen post, he talks about his first half marathon race. The Great North Run.
As mentioned in my introduction I enjoy the odd run, why I run is a little known fact, it’s because I can. I discovered the ability early in 2015 when walking, that by putting my feet in front of each other quicker I could actually run, not bad for a 47 year old..!
I entered some 10KMs but my first real test came in September, a half marathon.
That’s like 13.1 miles… I wrote this the day after, once the dust had settled. I often go back to it if I need reminding what I am capable of achieving.
I was worried it was all going to be a bit overwhelming, having ran a 10KM the weekend before with 3000 others, the thought of closer to 60000 was a bit breathtaking.
I needn’t have worried. As I found my pen and lined up towards the back, it was becoming obvious I was going to be a part of something special. Annoyed to find out that Mo got a head start of at least 35-40 minutes – meaning by the time I crossed the start he was already half way round.
As the pace went from walking to a slight jog I chose to high five the celebrities at the start (I will watch the re run to see who!) then on to the streets. It was warmer than expected shade was at a premium. I had gotten to a mile at a pace of 2:13 … silly Garmin!!
And then it happened. The £7 spent personalising my shirt paid off as I heard:
“Go on Adrian You can do it!”
I even looked around quickly for other Adrian’s but no it was for me! Thank you! I said and gave a thumbs up.
Oddly just a mile down the road from those shouts my headphones gave up. It appears that I needed to hear every word as I went around.
And that’s how it continued. Encouragement – shouts of your name! High fiving any hand that peeked out over the barriers or at the side of the road, handfuls of haribo, orange segments, biscuits… One woman was offering sausage rolls! People stood with a hose cooling you down outside their houses!
I’m not sure if it was the above wave of emotional support or just a positive mental attitude but I hardly noticed when I passed my furthest point of running.
Oh it’s 10 miles. Just a Parkrun to go.
The Sue Ryder cheering point at mile 12 was a godsend. The last mile was slow, but soaking up those last few shouts of encouragement were worth it.
Then it’s over.
Medal collected. Wind down begins.
I never set out to break any records, I just set out to prove to myself I could do it – and I did!
Thanks to everyone who supported me, donated and encouraged, you are all stars! Especially if you’re still reading.
And there you have it, an account of my first half marathon.