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Gloucester half marathon 20th January 2019

So, the first race of 2019 Is now over.. I managed a mere 01:58:55 which to be honest, the way I felt this morning is a pretty great result.
I woke around 5am this morning with really bad cramps in my feet ... again ! And I wasn’t heading out the door until 8am
This left foot of mine has really been playing me up this last few days but hopefully my trip to a sports physio this week, it will sort itself out.
It was a really cold morning out there today. Made my way to the race headquarters to pick up my bib which was ever so kindly donated to me by the race organisers, towards my challenge for the charity , The IBS Network. So thank you to the organisers of the event for that kind gesture .. it was much appreciated.
Race headquarters was heaving when I arrived but everything was well organised for pick ups and then to pick up our two wristbands as it was a two loop race today, and a brand new course .. even the start line was in a different place to last year.
As always the toilet queues were horrendous .. there are never enough for those nervous urinators first thing in the morning but once the race starts there are too many ... you can’t win.
So, after I’d queued up it was time to head to the start line which was about 40 yards away down the street from race hq.
No fuss or polava getting there and was barely stood there 5minutes before we were off into the day’s event, although there was no audible horn or anything, I think someone just whispered to those at the front lol
Now, for a half marathon course it was pretty boring, through houses and industrial estates and out into the countryside. Not flat , but not hilly either it was a real nice mixture of non too demanding challenges .. quite possibly a pb course if you’re feelin good this early in the year. Unfortunately my slight injury stopped me going for it today but then again, this year I’m not going for great times and pbs, I’m going for finishing strong and getting through it unharmed .. my injury has today really hit me hard where it counted .. you can’t have a good run without feet lol
Enough water stops and even a couple of toilets enroute as well which is always a bonus. No IBS issues as such today except a bit of a niggle around mile 7 but I think it was the cold water I had just consumed so it soon went away.
The last three miles I thought were going to be tough on me but I managed to grit my teeth and bare the pain. The slight hills by this point were grating on me more than ever but I’m getting good at telling myself to carry on regardless ... I’ve not quit a race yet and I don’t intend to, unless a leg falls off or something lol
Although it was houses and country lanes the road closures were handled well by the locals and the marshals today so it made for a hassle free run for us all .. it’s always funny to hear people screaming CAR behind you though.
So the race to finish line started with an underpass then a bit of a steep climb out of the bloody thing, only lasted about 25 yards at the most but then it went onto a really narrow footpath between the houses .. people were walking towards you as you ran along to get the finish line .. a tad off putting as sometimes you had to swerve round the odd kid in a buggy or an Oap on a mobility scooter .. not really well thought through and as it wasn’t that wide it was difficult to be able to pass anyone ahead of you ... IF you had the energy for a final burst .. which I have no idea how or where it always manages to come from, but I’m one of those that can always manage a bit of a sprint finish, I think I managed to pass around 3-4 people on that final part of the race and over the finish line. When I saw I was coming up to the two hour mark back at the underpass I raised my game, my stride lengthened as I sped up that incline onto the narrow path and into the way of pedestrians walking away from the race wearing their medals with pride .. most of them congratulating us and edging us further towards the finish line .. it was around 40 metres today that I managed to let rip and tear up the pavement for the last time in this race .. what am I saying , for the first and last time in this particular race lol

That’s it, it’s all over for another year here in Gloucester .. my second time here for this race and I will be back next year, as it’s the Only half I could find close enough and it’s a well organised event, one to try for anyone who can brave the cold days in January.

Thanks to everyone for your support today enroute .. there were times I was in pain and times when I needed to walk uphill to take the pressure off my foot and knee and many of the fellow runners again, as always asked if I was ok and told me to carry on ..

The fellow runners are a great bunch of people when the going gets tough for anyone out there in a race, and I’m thankful for every comment along the way, as I’m sure everyone running races is truly grateful.

Roll on February and the Lanelli half marathon in three weeks time

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