The Clipper Race is all about challenging yourself and pushing your body to its physical limits. With this in mind, last April I signed up to do the Ealing Half Marathon which took place on, 28th September. Having previously not ever run more then 10K (6 miles), I realised that running 13.1 miles was going to be somewhat more of a challenge! I managed to convince my friend from Church, Ian, that he really wanted to run a half marathon also, so together we embarked on the challenge.
We both agreed that we would use the run as an opportunity to raise money not only for my Clipper Race fund but also to support the Children’s Work at the church Ian and I attend, St John’s, Walham Green, Fulham.
Ian and I were regularly in contact during our running training to encourage each other (or make the other feel guilty for not going for a run!). I tried to run two or three times a week and followed a training plan which gradually built up my running stamina with runs of 5 miles increasing to 7.5miles and then 11miles. There were days when the sofa was more appealing than going for a run but I dragged myself out in rain, wind and sunshine so that I could get in the miles I needed each week. Ever the competitive one, I also said to myself I wanted to achieve it in less then 2 hours 20 minutes. Before we knew it, the race day was on us and so we headed off on a clear morning to Ealing with the challenge from church being to make it round in time to be back before the end of the morning service.
The British weather is a remarkable thing as when signing up we thought the last Sunday in September would bring great conditions for running – overcast and cold. However what greeted us were clear skies and blazing sunshine, which added an extra dimension to the challenge of making it around the course!
I am not going to lie, running a half marathon was hard. I got swept up by the excitement of it all and ran the first 6 miles way too quickly which meant that by this point the temperature had risen to be in the 20s and I was hot (and we aren’t talking beautiful here!). I had an odd moment where my body went all tingly and I wasn’t sure if I could make my legs keep going. Something within me
however did enable me to carry on. I had a few stern words to myself and remembered the supportive words my Brownies had put on the posters they had made me (see photo below). I also thought about the fact that if I couldn’t run a half marathon, how was I going to cope in the Southern Ocean or at points on the circumnavigation when I thought I couldn’t carry on? With this in my mind I found the energy to continue.
I made it to the end in a time of 2 hours, 13 minutes and 45 seconds, so within the time I challenged myself. As I crossed the line I was relieved I had made it and then suddenly aware that everything hurt and I was very sweaty! I am glad I did it and pushed myself but I am not sure that it will be a regular challenge – I have decided I enjoy running between 5 and 8 miles but not any further!
Ian and I both managed to make it round in time to get back to church for the bubbly we had been promised and some shocked faced that we had both made it to the end and were still standing!
Many thanks to all those who sponsored us and to those who came and cheered us on the day. We are still collecting in the last bits of sponsorship money but the total looks to be £370. This means £185 will be going to my fundraising and £185 to the Children’s Work at St John’s Church. If you didn’t sponsor us and would like to it isn’t too late! In running 13.1 miles I have increased my overall fundraising total by another 148 miles so all the pain was well worth it!