Gosport Half Marathon – 18/11/2018
Alarms went off at ‘You’ve Got To Be Kidding Me’ o’clock (or 05:45) on Sunday 18th November when dedicated members of our beloved running club dragged themselves out of bed to travel across the water for the 13.1 miles of the notoriously cold and breezy Gosport Half Marathon.
Assembling at Ryde Pier Head, shivering in the Baltic conditions, 19 committed Harriers turned out for the trip in woolly hats, scarves and gloves (because you’d be off your head to just wear shorts, right? *Makes note for next time to check what other members are travelling in).
Split into two minibuses (seamlessly arranged by our beloved Team Captain and uber-organiser, Trevor), we headed towards Bay House School and the Start Line for what was starting to be a beautiful day.
On arrival, the usual exchanges of pleasantries with other clubs and the obligatory quick count up of IWRR’s was intermingled with bag drops, loo stops and passing round the Bacofoil blanket for warmth.
My guide for the race was Captain Rocket Rosie Eldridge who expertly steered me through the crowds to the start, positioning us by the 1:25 marker! How we laughed!!
The race itself took us for 2 laps along Marine Parade and the Promenade. Mostly flat with a couple of short inclines, the roads were lined with supporters and marshals who did a faultless job of supporting and taking care of all the runners. The best thing about laps (well, the only good thing about laps actually…) is you get to see the faster Harriers (and Road Runners) during the race as you pass each other coming back round which lends itself perfectly to yelling and whooping encouragement and really adds to the atmosphere!
This event was my first experience of the ‘water pouch’ which was significantly harder work than the half marathon itself! Squeeze too lightly and you’re teased with a single drop of water like a desert mirage that evaporates before you can swallow it but with just one iota of pressure more, you’re hit in the face with a tsunami and come up struggling for air! Still, at least it took our minds off running!
Rosie was amazing (after very kindly demonstrating the aforementioned tsunami effect for me), keeping us on target for pace and cracking the whip when I got lazy! (I see now why she’s Ladies Captain! Love ya Rosie!) We made it across the finish in an amazing time considering I really was ‘just going to get round’ as I didn’t think I’d done enough training. Thanks Cap’! I’m dedicating my 7 minute PB to you!
The best part of the day though, had to be seeing Beth and Stella complete their first Half Marathon! Beth’s face as she crossed the finish line with the rest of us shouting and whistling was a pure gift and one I wish I could repeat the next time someone asks ‘Why on Earth do you do it?!!’ Congratulations Beth and Stella and everyone else that ran! Another awesome day for the Ryde Harriers!
Richard Melville 01:28:45 (pb by 3 mins)
Trevor McAlister 01:32:29
Graham Gardner 01:33:54 (pb by 10 seconds)
Ken Beak 01:41:44
Julie King 01:43:21
Michael Dignan 01:44:11
Tracey Dillon 01:44:51
Roger Merry 01:46:55
James Barclay 01:51:23
Lisa Robertson 01:54:08
Natalie Rose 01:57:59
Robert Somers 02:02:35
Carolyn Ward 02:07:31
Stephen Lee 02:08:19
Lindsey Stapeley 02:08:00
Rosie Eldridge 02:08:47
Sarah Probert 02:08:48 (pb by 7 mins)
Stella Gamble 02:09:24 (first Half marathon)
Beth Holloway 02:45:20 ( first Half marathon)