Anything 4 A Ride MTB Club / Race Team
   A change of discipline for this one, I was heading to Birmingham to complete the inaugural Birmingham Half Marathon.  Over 9000 people were taking part, and I lined up well back from the start with our group of intrepid runners and fund raisers, I was running to raise money for Multiple Sclerosis with colleagues from work.

The furthest I’d managed in training was about 8 miles, so I was feeling a little nervous on the start line, but was determined to make it to the finish in better than 2 hours.  It took about 6 minutes after that start to actually get to that start line, and then we set off with the crowd.  It was very congested for the first few miles and I found myself weaving through the crowd to try and find some clearer roads so I could stretch my legs and run at my own pace.  I soon lost sight of our group and didn’t spot anyone again until I saw June just a couple of miles from the finish.

The mile markers and drinks stations seemed to crop up quite regularly, and I soon made it to the 6 mile mark and started a long downhill section.  The climb was to follow and I really felt the burn as we seemed to continually climb for at least a mile or so.  At about 9 miles I started to feel pretty rough but managed to keep going without pause and was soon onto the long final section where the route doubled back on itself. 

The last drinks station was passed and I dug deep to push for the finish.  I had visions of putting on a bit of a sprint for the last mile but as the 12 mile went by it was all I could manage to keep my legs moving, my chest burning and my legs feeling like they would cramp at any second.  As the 500m marker went by I was really struggling, and runners who had some energy left seemed to be streaming past me.  It was all I could do to keep running and I was delighted as the crowds thickened and the line came into sight.  It took everything I had just to keep running and I was delighted as the time came into view, only 1 hour 49 minutes and 50 seconds!!

My 1st (and quite possibly last) half marathon, think I’ll be sticking to bikes for the immediate future!