When I originally entered Hampton Court half what I had pictured was a lovely sunny jog around the palace gardens surrounded by lovely sights, the reality was rather different. Somehow Matt had managed to convince me that I would be able to get round in sub 2hours – I’m not sure how as that would mean knocking over 13 minutes off my current PB! This grand idea included the introduction of gels about every 20/30mins to keep my energy levels up and stop fatigue. I’m not a fan of gels as I have only every tried the cheap nasty ones and they are cheap and nasty.
Arriving in London was great and we all met up in true BRC style for some pre-race prep involving a few drinks. We had a meal which took forever (we really should make sure that we book when we need a table for 14!) and a cancelled train which resulted in a rather long walk back to the hotel rather late at night. However come the morning I was still feeling relatively optimistic. There was a gentle warm up provided by the couple of mile walk to the start line and we were there in good time before the start.
At the start line it was rather a crowd who just seemed to funnel through the start poles (creating a slight bottle neck!) and off along the river. I was nearly taken out by some bollards but managed to avoid them and was off to a reasonable start. I couldn’t see Matt or Jean but decided to just keep going at a pace I was happy with (not too fast as I have made that mistake before but also pushing myself enough). After around 5K Matt and Jean caught up with where I was and Matt decided we needed to up the pace, I tried my best to keep up but I knew instantly that this was just too fast for me – but I tried to keep a positive mind set. At around a third of the way we hit the gravel – running in gravel is not fun and it seemed to sap all the energy from my legs and as we got back onto pavement surfaces I could feel my legs were super tired. We then seemed to move into an endless head on wind. The rest of the race was pretty much awful, I completely ran out of energy and resorted to run walking. I think had Matt not been with me I would have just sat down by the river and had a little cry until someone came to find me – but luckily he did manage to keep me going until I crossed the line. I finished with a time of 2:08 which knocked 5mins off my PB but I was rather a broken mess and not really happy about any of it. I consoled myself with a pork bap which made things slightly better and vowed never to try and run fast again.