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Lisbon Half Marathon - 17th March 2019

Race number three of my challenge and what can I say?

The last two month have been hell for me ... with on going IT band issues, training has been almost nothing .. The only thing keeping me going has been this challenge and the races that go with it. So to say this race wasn’t  worrying me at all, would be a lie .. I’ve battled with it in my head for the past few weeks since my last race in Wales which was hard.

So, I had made the decision to take this race really easy and just get through it on the day. Another team IBS member ... Alison was also running this one with me... in team IBS colours so I decided I would run the race with my team mate at her pace,which is considerably slower than my usual pace, but due to my injuries I thought it would be the best  course of action.

 

Race day in Lisbon was a great start .. the sun was shining and I was getting burnt again as we walked the short walk from the train station.Trains and buses were laid on for us and the place was buzzing ... as we took the walk up to the bridge start the atmosphere was great .... loud 80’s music was being pumped out and the sun was blazing high in the sky.

The usual race day woes as in most races.. not enough toilets but the open men’s urinals were prevelant in the crowds ... and an area of bushes for those with even less dignity lol

As usual in huge events the start signal was lost to us starting further back... no starting pens today, just turn up n try n get out when you can which was really tricky as the mini marathon set off with us all doing the half ... so with an army of plodders amidst the runners it wasn’t an easy task to even get to the start line. Along the way there was at some point a huge flag being held above our heads and we all passed underneath it .. surreal moment.

We are on the bridge at last .. a smaller replica of the Golden gate bridge in San Francisco but non the less impressive in its stature. The deep red painted iron girders and tension ropes stood out proudly against the deep blue skies over Portugal.

The throng of people on the bridge was amazing to see .. a see of mainly fluorescent yellow shirts bobble up and down uncontrollably along the immense almost two miles of steel and concrete.. what an amazing site to see and be a part of.

Many of us were taking advantage of the day and taking photos and standing on the infrastructure of the bridge.. many also just stopped in their tracks to do it.. totally annoying at the time but .. in the heat of the moment I guess it was acceptable.. when else will you ever get that opportunity.

We savoured the bridge start as we hit the end of it, as the descent curved away to the left and a short downhill section into a nearby residential and commercial area and as we could see from the bridge, the first of the toilets along the route.

Along the route we were treated to a few bands and musicians playing some tunes and keeping spirits high.

The mainly foreign runners today weren’t really chatty or even friendly, but the odd few along the route all looked out for each other at various points and cheerrd one another on, which is always nice when you’re flagging in the heat of the day. Luckily the clouds came over and took away the sunshine for some well needed relief from it.

The streets that we were treated to on this race were as boring as hell .. an out and back one way , leading to another out and back close to the finish line.

One thing I will say about Lisbon though .. they really do have some fantastic street art .. they must encourage it as it’s everywhere you go ... it certainly cheered up some of the boring bits of the route..

The race is a flat route though and if you’re on good form you could easily get a Pb or close-to it.. but only if you managed to be out at the start line early to avoid the mass  hysteria on the bridge .. there really was no way of getting a good  first mile in if you started in the middle or back of the throng of runners.

So, a rather uneventful race in Lisbon .. we were treated to a nice shower section at around mile 10 but we were spoiled with water stations, gels, Powerade, banana,oranges along the way .. that bit was well catered for which is always a nice thing to have on a hot day.

As we approached the last turn around point I guess we were about 2 1/2 miles away from the finish line we had had to pass by earlier much to our discomfort.

We knew we had to pull up our pants and do what we could to get to the end .. I had left my teammate around the half way mark as I knew I had enough in me , even with injury to pick up the pace a bit, and I knew she was safe with the route as we had walked most of the second half the day before so I knew she was confident and she really needed me to piss off so she could get some peace and quiet from me pushing her forward lol

At around 11 miles some TWAT in front of me decided to just stop dead in his tracks, forcing me to have to jump out of the way, making me twist my left knee.. the one I have been having probs with for the last two months or more... needless to say I suffered a bit of pain in those last few miles, however I managed to run through it without too much pace being lost, in fact that last mile was my fastest of the race and then a nice sprint finish along the  red carpet, passing A fair  few runners which always makes me smile and hit it hard in the last few metres.

So race number three in the bag in a crappy time ( for myself ) of 02:17:55

Which I guess wasn’t as bad as I had envisaged last week on a failed training run. I was proud to have finished though today, against all odds.

As I waited by the finish line for my teammate to finish, I realised that I wasn’t the only one out there today running with issues and pushing themselves to the limit of their abilities .. I guess we tend to assume that all those ahead of us in a race are fitter and better and faster at this running malarkey but in reality many of us on that stretch of the vastness of the running world are in the same boat .. fighting something and battling through whatever we have to to achieve the end result.

I guess this is why I have taken to running so much at this stage in my life ... when you get to stand on that  finish line and see the faces of fellow runners hit that timing board again and again, it really does hammer home that sense of achievement in everyone participating in that day’s events and knowing you yourself may have played a small part in that, is totally worth all the pain that sometimes can and does go with the whole running experience.

Thanks to everyone who ran in Lisbon this weekend..except maybe that twat at mile 11 lol

I met some fantastic people this weekend and you all played a part in my experience to which I will always be grateful for.

 

Running abroad is a fantastic experience that every runner should do at least once in their lives, I’m so glad that I have these opportunities in my life.


 

Official race photos

 

My Finish line video

 

 

Untitled Document

 

 




 


 



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