Monday, 13 February 2012

Portsmouth Coastal Half Marathon

Yesterday I ran race number two in my PCUK sponsorship series - the Portsmouth Coastal Half Marathon. Conditions were near perfect - clear and still (very unusual to have minimal wind on Portsmouth seafront!). Although it was pretty cold and icy in places, the runners soon warmed up once we got started. The race started behind the Pyramids Swim Centre and then headed off towards Eastney along the prom. Around 4-5 miles in we headed off-road across parts of the pebbled beach, some fields and trail paths. Although my split times for those miles were obviously slower, I quite enjoyed the change in terrain and it certainly added to the enjoyment of this scenic race. Really well organised too - would definitely recommend this race to others. I noticed a few other girls ahead of me at the start, but managed to close in and overtake a couple of them by half way. At the point where I usually start to feel tired and start to slow, i.e. mile 9, on this occassion I actually felt strong and able to push on. During the long stretch back along the prom I decided to take an energy gel and just 'push on' as fast as I could. I saw my Dad with a couple of miles to go which spurred me on - then it was a couple of miles to the other end of the prom, around the amusements and my old school playing fields and a short loop back to the Pyramids centre. I looked down at my watch and I hadn't reached 1hr30 yet - could this be the sub 1:30 day?! It was starting to hurt - at times like these I just think about the important cause and people I'm running for and the pain is numbed. As I came into the home stretch I could see Katherine, Jamie, Jorjia and Pete cheering me on, which was really nice!

It wasn't the day for my sub 1:30, but I came in at 1:30:47, taking almost 3 minutes of my PB, so very pleased with that!! Also found I was 3rd woman and 52nd overall and was presented with a trophy and goody bag as I crossed the line!

I have now raised over £500 for Pancreatic Cancer UK and am truly grateful for everyone who has sponsored me so far. Next event is the Coniston 14 at the end of March, but in the meantime I'll keeping up with all that training.

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