Well, after all the training, pre-run nerves and excitement, the day arrived at last! We travelled down to my sisters yesterday - she lives about 20 mins from Bath which made things a bit easier today. Left the house at 8.30 and drove to the Park n ride, long queues on arrival of runners and supporters all waiting for a bus. There wasn't too much waiting around luckily and then we were soon in the city centre and making our way to the Runners Village. A good atmosphere but very busy and we slowly worked our way in to the village on the lookout for toilets (of course). I have to say, that compared to other organised events I have run in, there really didn't seem to be enough toilets, either in the Runners village or closer to the start line. Never mind, we queued patiently (as you do) and headed on in to our start pen about 5 minutes before the off! Bath is a beautiful city and the support along the route was fantastic. I loved the course - gently undulating with only a couple of gentle hills. My sister and I ran it together all the way, although on a couple of occasions I told her to run on if I was holding her back (this was her 5th HM and she can be quite speedy!) She assured me, that the pace was fine for her (a good sign) and said I had actually helped her up the hills (which she is not so keen on!). The morning rain had long gone and we ran off under cloudy skies with a gentle breeze - perfect for running. The phantom niggles I had convinced myself of during my taper, had vanished and I felt relaxed and comfortable as we settled in to the race. The high number of runners did mean there was quite a bit of jostling for position in the early stages, although all of it good natured and unavoidable at that stage. I managed to slip in behind a particularly speedy chicken at one point who seemed to be making his way through quite nimbly but he soon disappeared out of sight!! In addition to the fantastic crowd support and the usual African drums (love the drums) there were also local bands dotted around the course performing in a local Battle of the Bands competition. Also, really pleased to spot our husbands and children on three occasions throughout the run. As planned, I refuelled at 5, 10 and 15k and there were plenty of water stations too. The sun put in a surprise appearance at about the half way point and what had been quite a comfortable run felt a bit warmer and harder for a while, but the gremlins couldn't get to me today and easing my pace a little for a while seemed to work and I felt stronger again. The last mile was hard and brilliant in equal measures as the crowds really cheered all of us home. My sister and I crossed the finish line together, with a chip time of 2hrs 10 mins and 57 secs. We walked, smiling back to the runners village to collect our medals and goody bags. ( I learned later that the organisers ran out of medals and that several hundred finishers will have to wait for them. Very poor, I think. Apparently one poor woman, who had had a hard run was in tears on finding out, bless her, so definately room for improvement there, Vitality ) Overall though, I left feeling chuffed, tired but very happy. Would I do it again? Definately!😀🏃🏽♀️Pics attached - I am the happy smiley person on the left!
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