Southampton Half-Marathon by Simon Joy


Here’s a few words from Simon on last week’s new half:

Sunday 26th April saw the inaugural ABP Southampton Half Marathon and 10km events and marked the first Half Marathon to be held in the city for thirty years. Due to an early race start and unhelpful boat sailings, the day started ridiculously early. There was a nervous excitement in the air as most of us were running the distance for the first time and we also had fingers firmly crossed for our fellow Harriers in London. We were joined on the boat by a good number of IOW Road Runners, although they were far to jolly for my liking at such an unearthly hour.

As for the course, it included Itchen Bridge (twice), Southampton Common, Bargate Monument and a particularly unpleasant section past St Marys Football Stadium where I got a sudden urge to chant ‘Play up Pompey’. The organisers had billed it as a fast and flat course, however there were many Mainland folk whining about some relentless hills. The general consensus from us Harriers was that it included a few ‘slopes’ here and there.

Tracey Dillon led Team Harriers home in an impressive time of 1:37:56 followed by myself in 1:44:35, Clayre Brown in 2:15:53, Angela Thornton 2:18:25, Deb Joy 2:28:42 and Cath Love 2:42:49. A fantastic effort from everybody. The support around the course was superb with so many people shouting your name and endless high fives offered by supporting children. All in all, it was a very well organised race and a thoroughly enjoyable day out. So good in fact, I know that at least three of us have already signed up for next year. Oh and Joy Furmidge, myself and Tracey beat some old bloke called Matt Le Tissier!