Hackney Half Marathon

Hackney Half Marathon

Over 10 thousand people complete this event today. Can you imagine that? Can you imagine running 13 miles and never once being on your own? The streets of Hackney were closed - it was a delight to be able to pick your line without worrying about oncoming traffic. There were bands playing on every other corner, including a really rather good Brazilllian samba band - I could have listened to them for a while, but I had other things to do.

Other things I saw on the way round:

Two ladies wearing false ginger beards and shouting "Gingerama!" Every time they passed a redhead for no particular reason

Several pink tu-tus

More than one person dressed as a banana. I couldn't work out why people kept shouting "oy, banana" at me until one of them passed me.

An incredibly supportive crowd. I must have been offered jelly babies umpteen times by children at the side of the road. I was also offered sun cream at one point. In fact the crowd made a massive difference. There was a man hanging out of a window with a loudhailer shouting out to everyone as we passed. There streets were lined for 100m at more than one point, but the biggest buzz of all was at the top of a hill at the 12-ish mile point just before we reached Stratford. There perched on the top of the wall at either side of the road and the dividing section in the middle was the loudest bunch of people I've ever heard. The shouted your name as we past as if they were there just for you (your name is on your bib). It felt very, very personal just at the point where I really needed it.

Moans ? One or two, but they are trivial. More than one water station had run out when I arrived and the pace makers seemed to go off at Olympic qualifying pace, but neither really mattered.

As for my race, well, with an existing PB of 2h27 set solo on the roads near home with one or two hills, I expected to go faster today. My plan was to run 6:43 kms as far as I could and then hold on for the last section through the very familiar (to me) surroundings of the Olympic Park to the end back at Hackney Marshes. I went through 10k in 1h07, bang on schedule. The plan was working well until about 11k when I developed a hamstring problem. Not severe, but enough to force me to back off. The splits started to slow significantly and I had no option but to alteration walking with running. I was devastated, above all else, regardless of time, I wanted to run all the way. It's not as if I haven't done it before.

Cheered on by the crowd, I kept going and as I passed at least four people with oxygen masks being attended by the St Johns ambulance I realised that my troubles were small

In comparison. I made a point of digging in and running the last mile. It hurt like hell, but that crowd just wouldn't let me stop. As you can see from the photo, Bailey, the westie was waiting at the finish line, as was Mrs Rob. I had terrific support all round today. I finished in 2h43, some way short of target.

On a personal level, I think the best thing I can say is that I made it round in one piece. I guess that demonstrates the standards I now hold myself to and for which, unequivocally, C25K is completely responsible. I never imagined this day would come as I set off on W1R1 back in July '13.

Generally however, I think this was an incredibly well organised event and I'd recommend it to anyone thinking of doing their first HM. I'm looking forward to reading RFC's review now!

48 Replies

  • Fabulous job Rob, you look great in the pic (unless you've used Bailey to clean your face. Lol)

    Well done. I am in awe! ☺

  • Thank you!

  • Sounds brilliant. What an amazing achievement. Many congratulations. Feel so, so, so very proud of yourself :)

  • It was oh so very hard and I just know I could have done better...... Just have to find another race!

  • You were out pushing your body to the limit whilst I was watching Disney on Ice. .... Perspective?

  • I find the combination of "Let it go" and ice skates to be quite challenging to watch....

  • That sounds like a fantastic event, I just love the music and support you mentioned. I can imagine that would really help you along.

    And yes, you and the cute white dog look just lovely :) xx

  • Yes, he's the looker in our house. I can easily beat him over 5k though.

  • Congratulations, well done, a HM is a great achievement !

    Over 10000 humans? ,... I could never do that !

  • It was quite something. I began in the "2h15 - 2h30" starting pen and although the start time was 0900, I didn't cross the start line and the timing beam until 0920!

  • Brilliant stuff Rob. Quite a day it was.

  • Well done for getting over the finishing line, a HM is a VERY long way ! I hope that despite the niggles you are feeling very proud of yourself.

  • The strange thing is that it only felt like it was a long way after I developed the problem. It felt like a nice casual and rather exciting jog up until then.

  • Fab race report Rob and really well done to you. That's a lot of mileage (you ran for 2 hours and 43 minutes!) so hats off to you. It sounds as if it was a blast but I'm not sure I would like running with so many people. Wasn't it a bit claustrophobic?

    Bailey looks as if he's very happy to see you! Brilliant achievement. What about a close up of your bling?

  • It was never claustrophobic, but there is a big difference between running with 200-1000 people as I have at a number of 10ks and a field of this size. It's very exciting actually.

    I shall leave the bling close up to Realfoodieclub - I think her efforts are just incredible.

  • well done! what a brilliant race :)

  • Thank you.

  • Wonderful picture and well done! I loved reading your race report too, I felt like I was there!

  • Be honest, it's the dog isn't it? He just loves being centre of attention. He even had the official race photographer taking shots of him!

  • That's brilliant. Well done you. What a fantastic achievement. Love the photo too.

  • The dog. It's the dog isn't it? He's lovely and if it had been a 13 mile walk with plenty of sniffing, he would have won.

  • He did plenty of sniffing and drinking and sunning himself and eating walls sausages and looking cute in all the time it took you to run the race. He was by far the cutest dog there. He did his usual high five as you crossed the start line (that took twenty minutes and he is heavy) and got his photogenic self ready for his picture with you at the end.

  • Ha ha!! Bless him!!!

  • Excellent! Inspiring post, C25K really does work, doesn't it? Well done Rob, sounds like a fantastic HM.

  • A great occaision. If you're anywhere near the capital and you're up for a HM, I recommended it without hesitation. Largely flat and some wonderful people helping you round with their enthusiasm.

  • Well done Rob - and love the photo with your little pal Bailey who I am sure would have loved to accompany you if he had been allowed.

  • So very, very true!

  • Brilliant Rob ! Well done, sounds like you had an amazing day !

    Really enjoyed reading that.

    Many Congratulations to you , fantastic achievement ! :-) xxx

  • Thank you!

  • Well done Rob. Pity about the hamstring issue but I am sure you will have other chances to beat your PB.

    10,000 is quite a field.

  • As I crossed the finish line I thought "I'm never doing that again" but that soon faded. Typical! So yes, I'm sure I can go faster next time.

  • Fantastic achievement Rob, well done and Bailey looks proud of you too.

  • Wow what a day! Congratulations Rob. Marvellous result for you, you should be really chuffed. A HM is a serious bit of work and you did it!!!! Take the rest of the day off. LOL

  • A very strange day. We left home at 6.30am and were home again by 2pm, but it felt like I was out all day. Don't get me wrong, I am chuffed, it's just that I know I can do better.

  • Great report Rob, lovely photo too of you and your dog! Well done for keep going and not stopping. Sounds like it was a great event and i love how supportive people in the UK are. Many congratulations and you should be very pleased with yourself - i hope there was a nice treat afterwards too.

  • This being the toughest run I've done to date, I just had to have him in the photo. He's not only a loveable lump of fluffy doginess, he's also been my inspiration from the start.

  • Lovely photo Rob! :) i think you did really well with a hamstring problem , you kept strong and made it through, congratulations! :)

  • Thank you!

  • Well done Rob - it sounds like a great event and you did so well to cope with your hamstring trouble.

    Bailey is gorgeous - and I love the way your tape co-ordinates with your laces!

  • Tape co ordination is always top of my race to-do list.......

  • Lovely pic of my hero, and you look quite good too! Very well done xxx

  • Ho ho ho!!! You had me there.....

  • Huge Congratulations Rob! You look so happy, rightly so! And Bailey is looking very handsome, too! :) Brilliant effort, really well done! xx

  • Typical. I run half way across East London and he gets all the credit!

  • Love the picture and well done on your time considering what you had to contend with. it was such a great day and I loved the atmosphere. I have never been offered so many sweeties by complete strangers. I also thought It was lovely that our names were on our bibs it did make a difference to me. Hope your recovery goes ok and your hamstring gets sorted real soon.

  • Thanks. Please post a report - and do post a picture of the medal. It must win a prize for weight! Wearing my T-Shirt with pride today.

  • I've posted with a slightly different picture hehe. Your right about the medal as proud as I was to wear it I had to take it off yesterday as I ran out of energy to carry it around.

  • Can't believe I missed this Rob. What a story! You really battled your way through, didn't you? Many many congratulations, that was a seriously impressive piece of running. Really hope your hamstring isn't too sore in the coming days. Well done m'dear. I love the photo btw xx

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