My quest was to finish a half marathon - quest complete - finished the Belfast Half Marathon yesterday in 2 hours 3 minutes! Ran the whole thing with my other half which was great because he has spent quite a while on the injury couch lately. It started at 9:00am which meant leaving at 7:30 - no time for faffidge as Poppy calls it!
Got to our parking location about 10 minutes away from the park shortly after 8 - took almost 20 minutes to get all the way across the park. When we were walking down the main road there were two or three people in running gear, but when we got in to the park we were suddenly joined by dozens of people coming from another gate until all you could see was runners all heading in a determined fashion across to the start line - made you want to check your watch to confirm that yes - it is only 8:20 on a Sunday morning - and yes - most sensible people are still in their beds - but we are not sensible people - we have gotten up at stupid o'clock on a Sunday morning to come and run 13.1 miles! The atmosphere was great though. 3000 people all with the same aim.
Our aim at the start was to stay and run with the other couple we had travelled with - then the aim was to finish before the panda! We lost our friends at the 6 mile mark but we still managed to beat the panda! Lots of lovely people out cheering and giving out drinks gels and sweets at several locations around the course, from Ormeau park (stopping to use the facilities on the way and then attempting to sprint to catch up with my companions), along to the Sydenham bypass, back through the Titanic Quarter, through the city centre (more sweets) and up into West Belfast before coming back down and heading back towards Ormeau Park and the finish line. Saw various sites along the way including an older gentleman with a 250 Parkrun tshirt on! The weather was not too bad - started to rain just as we finished the run but we didn't mind. Reached the finish line when it was 2:05 on the clock with a final chip time of 2:03. Delighted with that as it was my first one and now trying to decide what the next one is! Slightly sore but very happy people in our house last night as you can see in the photo. The medal is not very clear - it is in the shape of a running shoe