Leisa and I decided to make a weekend of it. We travelled up to London by car on the Saturday. After sitting in traffic for a couple of hours we eventually arrived at the car park Westfield Stratford this was located about 15 minute walk from the race and we were able to get the tube straight into London (where we were staying)
We both set off to London and headed straight to the hotel to dump the bags off. The hotel was very central and would recommend to anyone ( Club Quarters Lincoln’s Inn Fields ) . We had a great evening looking around parts of London and enjoying the sights and the food. We headed back to the hotel not too late as the taxi was picking us up early
I woke up about 5:30 feeling very excited and nervous I eventually got up and tucked into my porridge and banana. I had a little time as the race started at 9 and taxi was picking us up at 7. I was a little worried about the temperature being too hot to really push myself, so decided to play it by ear and see how I felt closer to race time. I had some great advice from some of the “in the know” team members a few days before about keeping hydrated, great advise, thanks all. I started to get ready, sun cream on then the great Hedgie top!
At around 8:30 I went to warm the legs up where I bumped into my friend Julian who I knew would be around but I wasn't sure if I would see him in the sea of 12,500 runners. We had a little chat then decided it was time to head to the start. Julian and I headed very close to the sub 1:30:00, the temperature was starting to get warm at this point
We headed off out of the park, not bang on 9 but near enough. I decided to keep a very close eye on my pace as after 1 mile it was hot and definitely hotter than D-Day. My watch beeped at me as I got to the first mile - 7 minute 10 seconds, I thought this was too fast for my first half marathon and in this heat .....I carried on running 2 miles, 3 miles and my pace hadn't changed, I felt comfortable and got to the first water station at 3 miles.This was entertaining, I’ve never seen or used the water pouches they were handing out ... The marshall were shouting squeeze the pouch and suck ....
As I did this so much water went into my mouth I nearly shocked myself. After a little, more educated sip of water I pushed on. Julian and I ran together up until mile 5. My pace was still a low 7 minute mile but I still felt comfortable at this stage. I eventually got to mile 6, half way and the next water station. I was ready for the water pouch ( or so I thought) I grabbed the water and squeezed so hard the water exploded out of the back ....I had no water at this station.
I carried on running as I felt comfortable and I didn't want to go back. Miles 7 and 8 had gone and I was feeling the heat now lucky mile 8 was the next water station I grabbed a couple of pouches this time, one to sip the water and one for pouring over me, a much more successful hydration session than the previous 2 ... also just after mile 8 they had a mist shower, this was rubbish and didn't do anything ....mile 10 fast approached and my pace had slowed down to the high 7 minutes miles now ....
I kept thinking what kelly told me “after mile ten it was just a park run to do”. Unfortunately the last 3.1 miles were in direct sunlight, the scenery was good to look at as it was very close to the Olympic Park . I got to mile 11, the last water station, grabbed more water and tried to push on I could feel the heat really getting to me now. I was still happy with my pace and thought 2 more miles ....
There were lots of people shouting at this stage pushing me along . I got to mile 12 and this was my biggest challenge, my legs felt heavy and I was very hot all I wanted to do was stop. I thought to myself if I stop now I will never get going again so i decided to slow my pace down. I started to recognise some of the surroundings so I knew I was very close to the end. One last corner and there it is the finish line there was no sprint finish this time ....my end time 1:40:56 I was so pleased with this time.
I was handed my medal, a water and a goodie bag (if only there had been flip flops in that bag as I left mine in the car) and met up with my cheer team of one (The Wife).
I know it was my first half marathon so nothing to compare it to but it was a good one, well organised, friendly and an interesting route as I had never been to the Olympic Park before.The people of Hackney were amazing and very supportive, clapping and shouting nearly all the way around.