Sunday the 13th of September saw me preparing to run my longest run yet, a fear inducing 20 miles – eek!
Part of this 20 mile run was to include the New Forest Half marathon, which I had arranged to run with my friend Emma (@run_twinkle_run), as she was guaranteed to rein me in to a 10 minute mile pace and not let me race off.
I started the morning with my normal race day breakfast of porridge with added dried mixed berries, washed down with a cup of coffee, and followed by a banana. I had arranged to pick up my marathon training partner Suzanne at 7.30am to get to Brockenhurst in plenty of time for the 9.30am start.
We arrived at the race village at just after 8am and soon met up with Emma and a few of my running club friends. Suzanne and I had our photo taken pre-race with Chris ‘Larry’ Lamb and Rob Benham who were both running the full marathon! They both managed to get round the marathon with fantastic times!
Our half marathon start was delayed for half an hour, setting off just after 10am. Suzanne raced ahead to a time of 1:55, whilst Emma and myself had a more leisurely run (more of a chog – chat/jog), finishing in a time of 2:23. The course was billed as fairly undulating, but I honestly can’t say we noticed the hills as we were so engrossed in conversation! We received a lovely piece of running ‘bling’ for our efforts!
About 10 minutes after finishing the race, Suzanne and I set off for another 7 miles, heading back up the track towards Brockenhurst. We saw lots of the full marathon runners coming up to their last couple of miles, and cheered them on as we passed.
As we hit 16 miles, I decided to take a high5 gel, I’d been using shotbloks up until this point, I really noticed the boost in energy. As we made our way back towards the race village, we came across a marathon runner who had hit ‘the wall’, and was just sitting on the side of the road. Suzanne having experienced the same herself at London Marathon took control, and between us we helped and encouraged this fatigued runner back on to his feet, I donated my last shotblok to him which seem to really perk him up. At this point the official race medics arrived and took over, I sincerely hope that this runner managed to finish as he told us it was his first marathon.
Running back into the race village and hitting 20 miles, we both felt surprised how good we felt, and this long run has filled us both with confidence for the Bournemouth marathon on the 4th of October, bring it on! 😀
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