17th March 2019. The day of the Fleet Half Marathon. Imagine the setting…. It’s 05:30 on a Sunday morning, your alarm sounds like a baby with colic when you’ve not slept for days, you have a two-hour journey ahead of you (half of which is on a ferry) when only a couple of hours before Storm Gareth was taunting you with a game of ‘Who’s neighbour’s garden will your wheelie bin be in?’, you haven’t done a long run since Ryde 10 and have convinced yourself you’ll end up running like the plastic soldiers from Toy Story. You wouldn’t get out of bed, right? Wrong. ‘Let’s just go and get round’ I said to myself, ‘who wants to stay in the warm curled up with the cats anyway?? Bob needs the company!’
On the ferry, everyone was way too happy (Carolyn) and relaxed. Bob jovially mentioned his 2:02 Gosport Half time and said we could go quicker if I wanted, at this point the ferry had already departed and was sadly too late for me to jump overboard (my fastest half was 2:08 and that nearly finished me off!) so I just smiled and nodded. I think my poker face was pretty convincing.
At the start line, Bob ushered me towards the 2:00 pacer – I loved his optimism – and we waited for the gun. Due to the volume of runners it took a while to move through but it stopped us going out too fast. When the runner in the rhino suit passed us I figured we should probably speed up a touch.
Mile 1 – Nice crowd! I’m not going to make it round.
Mile 2 – Pretty houses! I’m not going to make it round.
Mile 3 – Three and a bit parkruns to go! I might make it round?
Mile 4 – Into single figures now, this is more undulating than I’d like it to be!
Mile 5 – Don’t let the rhino pass! That’s a pretty front garden.
Mile 6 – Is it only mile 6? I’m not going to make it round.
Mile 7 – Ok, over halfway. We can do this!
Mile 8 – Blood glucose crash! I’m pulling out! No I’m not! Yes I am!
Mile 9 – Eat a Mars Bar! Thought of Ken (and Elaine) running 20 miles.
Mile 10 – The rhino is still behind us! One parkrun to go!
Mile 11 – I bet Bryan, Les and Trevor are so bored of waiting! Keep going!
Mile 12 – One tiny little mile to go! No, your legs aren’t going to drop off.
Mile 13 – I can see the finish line and people taking photos! Don’t trip over your own feet now!!
Finish – I got a PB??!!! Told you it would be easy! Thanks Bob!! You were awesome!
Despite a lot of us carrying niggles there were some outstanding times and performances on the day. Huge congratulations to Pippa for completing her first half marathon in an impressive time, to Steve’s 4th Vet 75 position and thank you to Carolyn and Keith for presenting Steve with his birthday cake (he’s 77 you know!!) that we all shared on the ferry on the way home. Another great road trip with the mighty Harriers! Never a dull moment!
Bryan Jones 01:24:33
Les Cupis 01:24:34
Trevor McAlister 01:27:53 (PB)
Cliff Morley 01:39:52
Catherine Young 01:46:42 (PB)
Caroline Dall-Whittall 02:00:52 (PB)
Stephen Lee 02:01:43 (4th Vet 75)
Keith Ruth 02:03:42
Carolyn Ward 02:03:43
Sarah Probert 02:07:55 (PB)
Bob Somers 02:07:55
Rachel Powell 02:10:47
Pippa Sharp 02:24:42 (First Half)
Kate Couch 02:24:43
Beth Holloway 02:41:37 (PB)