I did it. Having booked myself in for a first half marathon I managed to complete it in 2h07m25s in 57th of 139 places. I am so thrilled at this achievement and can only thank HU and c25k for helping me get there. I hadn't bargained for a cross country mudbath when I entered but that is what I got. Really hard work on hills that seemed to go on forever, windy, slippery, you name it. It was slower than I hoped but better than it might have been, given the conditions. I know that this has set me up for a better time come the next HM, so long as it's on the road.
A few things over and above the achievement made this a special day though. First, I managed to get my friend Lou down from Manchester for the event. (He's younger than me and faster and completed before me but with a twisted ankle on the first lap and some bad swelling on it the morning after). Second, at the starting line, on the other side of Lou, was Aftab a fellow c25k-er I had only ever met online. And there he was in real life. We both new the other was going to Brentwood so it wasn't unexpected but it was a great surprise all the same. We spent most of the first lap together chatting about running and all sorts of stuff before we got separated. I'd recommend you read Aftab's post from yesterday if you want to get a real feel for the route: I'll just say that Lou described it as the most horrendous route he'd ever run!
By the time I got to the last lap I felt that I'd never do another run like this again, who knows. But, as I said above, I want to get back on the road and see how I do there, so I'm looking for an early 2014 HM. The sense of achievement is the greatest thing, matched only by the knowledge that I have also managed to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support through this run. (I've never been sure of the protocol of sharing fundraising links, etc through C25k, so haven't done so.)
Thanks for reading and keep on running!