Bristol Half Marathon – HOT and speedy…
It’s a good route with some shade on the way out along Portway under Clifton Suspension Bridge and through the gorge before turning back on ourselves. This meant we could see the elite runners flying towards us! Lots of shade from the sun to start with but sadly this vanished as we went further out. I pushed on further at around mile 4 and little did I know that poor Kate was struggling with her sore hamstring injury…..After Portway the route pootles around the basin and through Queens Square and cobbled streets through very welcome shaded areas, this was a relief as many areas are exposed and sunny. (It goes to show how the weather on the day can make a huge difference to performance. Kate witnessed a lot of people collapsing and at the end, the poor girl next to me also sprinted in and then threw up. Gosh, it was hot!) Kate needed a lasso really to bring me to heel. No matter what I do I always go off too quickly, my splits are hilarious, gaining time each mile…(what is all that about!!?) I think I’m just too excitable and I run on adrenaline. Inevitably I hit a mini wall at mile 8 but they handed us some gels to help. This was hard to swallow but it did help eventually. Plenty of water stations and 2 showers to run through (it would have been good to have a 3rd).
The organisers announced before the race that they were NOT going to run the last mile Strava challenge (where you are supposed to attempt to run the fastest mile of the race) as they advised it was too hot. I did try to pick up speed for that last mile but of course I was never going to better my first 8.10 minute mile at mile 12 (and at that point would have been pleased even to get even to 9 min miles, mile 11 had dropped to 9.44 min miles, eek!!) I did finally manage to pick up speed for those last 400 metres. Kate was really struggling with her injury at mile 9 but I am so proud of her for chugging on and finishing the race, well done Kate.
Cotswold Allreaders are reading “A Respectable Trade” for the latest book club, this book is about Bristol and the despicable slave trade, what the city (and indeed Britain’s) wealth is darkly built on. Part of the run goes around Queens Square and other landmarks that are featured in the book, it’s interesting to take this in on route.
Also, and timely, Bristol is a special city for me as it was where Ant and I first lived together (for a year) and where I met and worked with Jeannie Hignell back in 2003. I still blame Jeannie and Alastair Hignell for my becoming a runner, as Alastair asked Ant and I to run Stroud half in early 2008 for “Higgy’ Heroes” for MSRC and I laughed my head off (I had NEVER run) but I said yes! Thanks to Simon Barnes coaching us and another group of runners over 8 weeks, we got round. There was quite a lot of us running Stroud half that day in 2008 (you know who you are are!) and this marked the start of Cotswold Allrunners who regularly had “Higgy’s Heroes” running subsequent Stroud halfs before the Hignells moved away to Brighton …..and here we are Cotswold Allrunners, over 10 years on!
City marathons are always fun as you get loads of support and music along the way. The atmosphere is great. I high-fived many little kids along the way and loads of people shouted out my name in support as my name was above my number! I do recommend this half marathon as it is an interesting route, well organised, easy to park with no delays/traffic and great to end up in Millennium Square where if you were wanting a day out, could make the most of the lovely restaurants there. I am truly shattered now, just made myself a home-made salty/sweet recovery drink, need to gulp it down!
Thank you to Aimee Lax for her race report. Find out more about Bristol Half Marathon.