Race Report: Royal Parks half-marathon 2011

My first half-marathon and I survived it!

This morning, I ran all 13 miles of the Royal Parks Foundation half-marathon in central London. Let’s cut to the chase: no injuries and I finished in 2hrs 6mins, much faster than I thought I’d manage. All in all, I’m happy with the run.

It was supremely well-organised, and thanks to staggered starts, there was little if any congestion along the route. Various witless tourists did cross my paths at various points (Westminster, Buckingham Palace) and several waist-high children came within a hair’s breadth of concussion via my elbows, but I finished unscathed.

If exhausted.

Nike+ was a real help, reminding me of my pace as I passed each kilometre and putting my mind at ease that I was making appropriate progress. And yes, the time in the screenshot above does say 2:10, but I didn’t manage to end the run on my iPhone as soon as I passed the finish line, what with the panting and shaking fingers. My text message from the race organisers says 2:06 and that’s what I’m sticking with!

Overall, it was a great experience. Yes, I forgot my running shades (which were needed at several point) and I even had to do a “Paula Radcliffe” and dart behind a tree for a much-needed pee at one point. (Don’t worry, everyone was at it). So many in fact that as I breathed a sigh of relief, I noticed a girl squatting in the bush next to me. We exchanged “when in Rome” type looks and shrugged. Job done, time to get back in the race.

I’ll definitely be looking for my next half-marathon just as soon as my knees stop throbbing.

And finally, thanks to everyone who pledged sponsorship for the event. You can still donate at this point – just visit www.justgiving.com/macpsych and with a few simple clicks, your hard-earned cash will be winging its way to the great people at Epilepsy Action, my charity of choice.

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