My Year of Challenge
8 challenges to celebrate each decade of my Mums life

Four down, four to go!

debbiepby debbiepSep 16th 2013
The 25th anniversary edition of the Bristol Half Marathon was the fourth event in my series of charity challenges. If you have read my earlier blogs you will know that this year has turned out to be far different than I originally planned. The Bristol half was not on my original list as it was a race that I had completed twice before, however having had to cancel races earlier in the year and being an anniversary event it seemed a suitable replacement. The decision was finalised when my Niece, Danni decided that she would like to run a half marathon to raise some money in memory of her Grandparents. This would be her first ever race and we could run it together.

During the last couple of months I have managed to do a little training. Helping Danni has been a great incentive and has brought the fun back into my running and reminded me why I do it. Although my shoulder is still causing me a great of discomfort I wanted to wait until after the race before going back to the doctor just in case he said I couldn't run!

The Bristol Half has grown so big that for the last few years they have run a 2 wave system with start times separated by 30 minutes to minimise congestion on the course. Both Danni and I were given numbers in the second wave while husband Tim started in the first wave. So 30 minutes after watching Tim cross the start line it was our turn.

Despite the wave start, the first couple of kilometres are always very congested and there is a great temptation to get drawn along with the crowd at far too high a speed. Sure enough thats what happened to us, we were going so fast that Brother-in-law Steve dropped his camera desperately trying to get the right shot! Of course this speed couldn't last and we soon settled into a more sustainable pace.

About two thirds of the race is an out and back along a main road beside the river Avon. A lot of people complain that this is boring but I run along here so often during training that it has become very familiar and comforting. Unfortunately towards the end of this section my shoulder really started making itself known. Despite taking painkillers before the start the pain became so bad that I thought I was going to be sick, so we decided that we should walk for a bit. From that point onwards the rest of the race became a walk/run.

As Tim had started 30 minutes before us we thought it possible that he could meet us for the last part of the race. Sure enough as we approached the 14km point we could see him in the distance waiting to join us.

The last third of the Bristol course is a complete contrast to the first two thirds, the long straight roads replaced with a twisty maze of side roads that seem to go on for ever. About 2km from the end, coach Kim Ingleby caught up with us on her bike and she accompanied me to the finish.

It was definitely not my fastest half marathon but I feel that it ended up being a worthy challenge due to my ongoing shoulder injuries. Danni really enjoyed herself and is already looking forward to her next event. As for me I have an appointment with the doctor and am determined to get this shoulder sorted out once and for all.

I have been thinking hard about my remaining four challenges and a plan is slowly formulating. I think I need to see what the doctor says but hopefully I can share them with you soon.

A big, big thank you to everyone who has sponsored me through my virgin money giving page, so far at this rate we will exceed the original target which is great news and I'm sure the four charities will be equally happy.
Four down, four to go!
timPby member: timP, Sep 22nd 2013 18:09
Superb effort so far look forward to joining you in another four adventures next year
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