crawled bounded out of bed on Sunday morning, ran around the house in a mad panic trying to find everything picked up the bag I’d prepared the day before, and headed into London for the Royal Parks half marathon.
Then it was time for the obligatory queue for the loos and baggage tent, before we joined the hoards of other runners in our designated starting pen.
The race started promptly at 9.30am and we crossed the starting line about 20 mins later. The first part of the race leaves the parks for the beauty of Parliament Square and the Victoria Embankment. Just don’t ask me to describe any of it, because running brings out my tunnel vision.
I ran with the others until the first water station (mile 3.5), when my inner pace-maker kicked in and I went off to run on my own.
- Mile 4: Deja vu from the Bupa 10,000.
- Mile 4.5: Chatted to a runner aiming for a 2 hour time, then watched him vanish into the distance.
- Mile 5.5: Chatted to Practical Action runners Alison and Lou, then watched them vanish into the distance.
- Mile 6: Back into Hyde Park.
- Mile 6.55 (the false one): Cheered on by a spectator saying we were halfway.
- Mile 6.55 (the real one): Saw the real halfway marker. Damn you lying spectator.
- Mile 7: Cheered on by a spectator saying “Mile 7’s the best [ok]. You can count down from here on in [ok]. You’re nearly there [You lie, spectator. I have 6miles left to do. If I had the energy, I’d stop to gag you and your lying mouth].
- Mile 8: Please don’t leave me marshals, I’ve no clue where in Hyde Park I am.
- Mile 9: I must have missed the mile 9 marker. It’s been at least a mile since the last one. Probably nearer 2. Cue mile 9 marker. Weep
- Mile 9.3: Evil marshal telling us to “keep left approaching mile 10”
- Mile 10: Damn! I could have sworn that I was at mile eleven. Oh. Wait. Mile 10. Ace! Just a parkrun to go. I can do that.
- Mile 11: Just two laps of a three lap parkrun to go. Which are the three lap parkruns I’ve done? Pymmes (very pretty and has a burger van). Greenwich (bumped into helsbels). Old Deer Park (came last, move swiftly on). Bradford (hills, hills, hills). Oooh! Mile 12 already.
- Mile 12: Spotted three Practical Action runners up ahead. Decided to see if I could pick them off.
- Mile 12.2: Reached the first. She works in their Communications team and was struggling after a fall at about mile 4.
- Mile 12.4: Reached the second and third. Yay! It was Alison and Lou from earlier. Think I babbled something about telling myself at mile ten that we were less than a parkrun from home. Which probably meant nothing to them, as there are, believe it or not, people who have no idea what a parkrun is!
- 800m to go: Don’t speed up. 800m is a very long way.
- 400m to go: Don’t speed up. 400m is a very long way.
- 200m to go: Speed up. I said, speed up. Oh, okay then, don’t bother.
- The end: Give me my bling! I want my bling! Bling is gooooood.
And home. Yawn.
PS: I haven’t forgotten the runner I chatted to who was doing her first half. I just have absolutely no idea where in the sequence to put her.
PPS: most distances are approximate. To be honest, it’s all a bit of a blur.
PPPS: Practical Action are fabulous. Check them out on you tube.