Sorry folks it's a long one.
Couldn't have picked a better day for a run along the seafront at Southsea, the sun was shinning, hardly any wind and to cap it off meeting up with fellow members of HU C25K. We arranged to meet and get a group photo (below), a nice touch by Aliboo who made a banner showing us as members of the C25K forum. Time to go to our respective holding waves, Boz was in a different wave and joined his section, Nick went to meet someone and I joined Aliboo and Paul in our respective green wave.
As this was my first proper event I didn't know what to expect, to be honest I was surprised at the amount of people who came out to support the run and that's not including the 25,000 entrants, it was busy! The atmosphere was great, there was lots going on and a thoroughly enjoyable day.
This was the first time that I had run with other people and found the pace with Ali and Paul was just right. I have read that if you can hold a conversation whilst running your pace is ok, I normally run on my own so talking don't come into it, but I did enjoy the company of Ali and Paul and having the occasional chat made the time fly by.
The run started westerly along the seafront with lovely views across the Solent and great support from people along the road side, from there we headed into Old Portsmouth which continued into the Dockyard past HMS Victory the oldest ship in our Navy (450 y/old). We were at 2 miles now leaving the dockyard and heading into the City, this took us past Victory naval barracks, University and onto our first water point. This was now 4 miles and I felt fine and moving quite easily, Ali's knee was holding up and now we were heading towards the seafront past the university campus turning along Southsea Common, still lots of support from people watching, what a great atmosphere!
The next section was to run along the seafront and in the opposite direction to the white wave who were running towards the finish line. We had just gone by the 6 mile marker and ahead of that was an overhead shower which you could run through to cool down, this was an opportunity not to be missed, Ali, Paul and myself were cooled off by the sprinklers (that was a nice touch). We were now on the last part of the run and Ali's knee was starting to ache as little but her pace was still steady and we were going passed quite a few runners, Paul provided encouragement which kept us going. 8 miles and still feeling good, I can't believe it!
We turned the corner and back onto the seafront but this time from the eastern end heading toward the finish line. At the 9 mile marker I pushed on a little while Paul kept pace with Ali, I thought we would meet up at the finish line but although I waited around a while it was so busy it was impossible to spot them (sorry). Now was the time to find my wife as I never spotted her on the way round either, thank heavens for mobile phones! Met my wife at the charity tent who I was running in aid of. What a great day this turned out to be, meeting some lovely members of C25K, lovely location and weather, what a way to spend a Sunday. Am I hooked running, you bet I am, thank you C25K. Hope your weekend was as happy as mine, happy running everyone.