Worthing Half Marathon
The marathon training has started a love affair with races in me, and this past weekend I got to indulge once again, on Valentine’s Day nonetheless!
This was not only my first half marathon race, but it was also the first time Worthing (my home) had put on a half marathon event.
On first glance the route looked a little confusing. I didn’t really understand how it was going to fit in a half marathon in the relatively small space allocated, going back and forth on yourself as it turned out.
I turned up on the morning with my brother in law who was also running. The main meeting area at the pavilion was really well organised, and I bumped in to so many friendly faces from the local community in that room. Running in your home town has that lovely air of familiarity and friendliness.
I wasn’t aiming for any specific time somewhere under 2hrs 10mins would’ve been great, but in my head this was just another training run. I’m all about getting to the marathon start line injury free you see.
The 1300 runners set out all at once which made it a little hectic at the start. We soon fell in to a rythym and space opened up to stride at your own pace. It was a cold day but the sun was out and it really was perfect conditions weather wise for a February race.
The confusing route was actually not as bad as I had anticipated. It was nice to be distracted by different side roads. Trying to spot faster friends as our paths crossed at certain points. I worried it would be demoralising seeing athletes on the way back as I was still on the way out, but in reality I was just in awe of their incredible strength and power.
The residential areas were a little quiet on spectators which made it tricky at times and I had to keep a conscious eye on my time to keep my legs moving. Where there were spectators they were amazing! I ran with my Mind shirt which has my name on it, and I got shout outs that kept me pushing on!
The final 6 miles or so were a straight out and back along one of my favourite stretches of coast. I run it most weeks as part of my training, and without a doubt it makes me feel so humbled to live where I do. By this point we were pretty spread out as runners so if you are not used to running on your own I’m sure this could’ve felt a little lonely. I just kept my focus on the scenery as we started down the home stretch.
Back on the promenade the crowds were out in force and I picked up the pace. I couldn’t believe it when I looked at my watch and saw I could be in under 2hrs 5mins!
A few paticular shout outs have to go to:
1. The man who had his dog give me an actual high 5!
2. To the mini Darth Vader!
3. To the 1:30 (OMG How) pacer, and fellow Mind runner.
4. And to the extremely loud group of cheerers who cheered on any one with a name on their shirt.
I can honestly say you all got me to the finish line, but none as much as my family and friends. Who without fail turn up at my races, run around taking pictures of me, giving me high fives and believing in me constantly without hesitation.
I crossed the finish line in 2 hours and 1 minute and I could not believe it! Sprint finish as always, followed by hugs, beer and nachos with my people.
All in all a great fast and flat event, and one I hope the local community can continue to support and improve over the coming years.