Thursday, 13 October 2011

The Royal Parks Half Marathon

I did it! I can't quite believe it, but I really did it!

My time wasn't on target, but when the time came I decided to take part against medical advice, so I was just pleased to cross the finishing line at all.

The Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon is a really fun run in many ways; it passes through some of my favourite parts of London and the atmosphere is incredible. Supporters from all the charities stand and cheer everyone passing, and if they see a name on a shirt they give that person a particular cheer. Volunteers from the major charities represented (including Mind and Help a Capital Child) staff the water / Lucozade stations, and this year at around the 9th and 10th miles there were even some wise people offering sugar in the form of jelly sweets.

It really was the perfect first half marathon in many ways; more-or-less flat, good road surfaces, genuinely enthusiastic marshals and supporters, and a really gorgeous time of year. The day was warm enough that it felt hot to run in, but the leaf-fall and cool wind were refreshing.

I was exhausted by the end, but the support from everyone who has sponsored me, and the YouthNet volunteers, staff and service users who cheered me on before and during the race. YouthNet do sterling work, and have done for sixteen years. If running until my whole body aches is what it takes to keep them going, then so be it.

Maybe, just maybe, I'll do it again one day.

Pall Mall, nearly 6 miles in