The Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon
THE ROYAL PARKS FOUNDATION HALF MARATHON
After a decidedly wet summer, the weather in early Autumn improved and Sunday 7th October turned out to be a perfect day for all 62 of our brave runners. Congratulations to every one of you - CLEFT simply could not survive without the enthusiasm and sheer determination of people like you. Some of you may be regular runners who have taken part in previous similar events but the greatest effort comes perhaps from those who have been inspired (or cajoled!) into taking on this challenge for the first time. For those who may be considering taking part next time, read on...
Despite feeling quite sick with nerves in the lead-up to the run and downright nauseous on the morning itself I made it to the start line with a spring in my step and even a sense of anticipation!
I set off in the slowest running group, accompanied by Paul, my trainer. The weather was lovely - clear blue skies, not a hint of rain and it was warm enough to feel the sun on your back. The first few miles were fabulous - out of Hyde Park, along to Westminster and then along the embankment to Temple and back. I had a brief walk at miles 3 and 5 but otherwise jogged solidly through the first half of the race in about 1hr 30 minutes. I knew I wasn't going to set any records for speed but instead set myself the challenge to complete the 13 miles and not be overtaken by anyone wearing a furry mascot costume.
Heading back into Hyde Park and hitting the half way mark I was starting to slow down a bit and finding it harder to keep going. Whilst it was great to be entering the second "half" the thought that I had to run the same distance again did not fill me with joy! I carried on in reasonable form to a little after the 10 mile mark when I damaged my ankle and had to walk pretty much the remainder of the course.
Despite this I am delighted to report that I finished. My time of 3 hours 34 minutes will never break any records but I am proud to report a final sprint over the finish line and that I managed to keep the man running in the giant red devil costume firmly behind me.
Including Gift Aid I have raised nearly £1,000 and am absolutely delighted. There is no doubt that this motivated me to keep going and make it through the tough stretches. The run was part of a wider team effort - my husband, two brothers, cousin and friends also ran and between us we have raised nearly £5,000 for CLEFT. There was also a wonderful team of family and friends supporting on the day - cheering me on, handing out jelly babies and pointing out the short cuts (er, thanks but I’m happy to report that I stuck to the official route!!).