Verna Burgess reports on the Gosport Half Marathon on the Hampshire coast, 18 November 2012
It was a beautiful day on Sunday 18th November and it saw me down in Gosport for the flat and fast half marathon there. I was surprised to be there – the previous Monday saw me inexplicably hardly able to walk and fairly despondent about what was wrong. Things got better as the week progressed though and I decided to risk doing the race.
I had not had time to read the course description but was expecting something good. All I knew was it was flat. Also, a Gosport Runner had recommended it to me and it is by the seaside. My goodness how wrong can you be? The first 10 miles was excruciatingly boring along the ring road and round and round and round a never ending military base. I wanted to scream in protest at how awful it was! It was made worse as Ipods were absolutely and completely banned on risk of disqualification.
Things got better after 10 miles as we finally left the base and headed round less boring streets before running along the seafront at Lee-on-Solent for the final 2 miles which was beautiful.
My strategy for the race was not to look at my watch for 10 miles. Then if I was in the zone for a good time I had 3 miles to push myself hard which I thought I could just about do. In fact I missed the 10 mile marker and so at 11 miles I saw I had a time of 1:24 – very happy with that. So I kept sight of a runner ahead and pushed on determined not to lose them – I crossed the line with a chip time of 1:40.24. This was a PB by over 6 minutes so very very very happy.
I finished 575/1568 and was 8th in my age category. At the end wearing my new Vegan Runners hoodie, another Vegan Runner Sidney Delara was able to spot me and so we had a nice introductory chat. I also wore my Vegan Runners vest for the race and had lots of encouragement from the spectators.