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My first race in 3 years

On 12th September I ran my first race in 3 years. This should have been my graduation from the Gosport Road Runners beginners group but due to injuring my Achilles I never completed it. However, because it was better, and because my lovely friend Eileen offered me her place, I decided to run. I was running the Absolute Running Summer Series 5K. This was the fifth and last race in the series.

Thank you Eileen for the photo

Before I begin, let me tell you about Eileen who gifted me her place. You might have seen her featured on parkrun’s page. Eileen is in her 70’s and such an inspiration. In the 1980’s Eileen was a cross country champion and has a sub 3 hour marathon PB! I can not imagine our parkrun family without Eileen in it. She’s an absolute hoot and as cheeky as they come. Thank you Eileen for the place. Here she is finishing her first parkrun. Read Eileen’s story on the parkrun website here

Eileen at parkrun

I really wanted to do well in the race and use this as a bench mark for future 5k races. I took my nutrition on the day really seriously, looking up suggestions of what to eat and drink during the day before the race. I also kept a close eye on the weather reports. It was saying there would be rain and high winds. The day time was actually quite nice but as the afternoon progressed in to evening the sky turned dark and as I looked out of the window, the trees in my garden were swaying frantically in the wind.

I got down to Stokes Bay early and was a bag of nerves! I met up with Kieran and we went and collected my number which I then pinned on my top, and then re-pinned it when Kieran told it was neither straight nor central! We then headed out to the start rather leisurely, thinking we still had plenty of time. However we’d both read the wrong start time and had to rush! As a result this meant my Garmin wasn’t ready! I hadn’t had enough time to find satellites before beginning so had to start it a little way in to the race. In a way though this sudden rush at the beginning meant I forgot all about my nerves.

For the first portion of the race I chose to run for as long as I could but tried to hold back a little to allow me to run for longer. This worked quite well but I was soon breathless. At the minute I’m finding my breathing difficult. I usually stop running, not because my legs want to, but because I can not catch my breath. The wind, which was now around 25mph, was taking my breath away.

A special mention for this race has to go to the marshals. I knew pretty much all of them and what a difference it makes having marshals shout personal encouragement to you. They were so cheery even in the awful weather conditions.

The race heads along the sea front at Stokes Bay and then does a loop around the GAFIRS (Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue) building twice. GAFIRS were having a training exercise where they “rescued” six people involved in a pretend boating accident. I saw the team put through their paces and the coastguard circling overhead bringing in their casualties. Here they are hard at work. If you want to read more about their training exercise it can be found here

Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue Team

Soon I’d completed my two laps running for 30 seconds and walking for one minute. As I came off the second loop I saw the 4km marker. It was starting to get dark at this point and then the rain started. It was coming in sideways due to the high winds and my left side was soon soaked right through. The rain felt like small pellets hitting me in the face. After seeing the 4km marker I decided to try and run as much as possible mainly to get out of the wind and rain! I could see the lights of the race HQ in the distance and kept my eyes on them the whole time, apart from when the rain was that bad I couldn’t actually open my eyes!

I finished the race in 45:53 beating my parkrun PB by over a minute. I was so pleased. It wasn’t until I got home and uploaded the result that I realised I’d also beaten my 5K PB from 2012 when I was running regularly! I was so surprised and really pleased. Now I want to keep chipping away at my time through parkruns and my new running plan. Fingers crossed!

Bayside 5K Summer Series

Thanks to Ben from Friendly Photography for the photo!

If you want to read Kieran’s race report, it can be found here

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Gosport Golden Mile 2017

The Gosport Golden Mile is a much anticipated local race. It is organised by Nick Carter who owns Absolute Running and a true legend in the running community. He also organises 545 club (every Wednesday), Breakfast Club (every Sunday) and the Bayside 5K Summer Series as well as the Golden Mile!

Sunday morning started bright and early. The weather was absolutely glorious. I smothered myself in sun cream and donned my hat as I knew we were going to be there all morning.

Upon arrival my Mum and I (Yes I dragged my Mum along but she actually enjoyed it!) went and grabbed a coffee in the Bayside Cabin. It was like lava though and as a result we missed the wheelchair race! Ooops!

We headed over to the start/finish line of the Golden Mile ready for the kids race where I quickly caught up with Maggie.

We were waiting for her son to complete the mile. He’s been doing really well in our new junior parkrun and this was a fraction shorter so we knew he’d do well. We were also looking out for the young man who keeps being first past the line at junior parkrun. We knew he’d do well too. However the biggest surprise of all was as we were clapping in the winner and second place, we noticed who was in third place, Kieran was storming his way to the finish line. I went mad cheering him on. I literally couldn’t believe it! As he made his way round to us with his medal I was so pleased for him and told him so. However, being the teenager he is, he was totally chill about it! He completed his mile in 05:42.2! If you want to read his account of the run click here.

340 children entered the Gosport Golden Mile! That’s an astounding amount of children, but it was watching this race last year that really confirmed we needed a junior parkrun in the area.

Next up was the Adult mile race. Jeez those guys were fast. It was won in 04:09.4! We cheered and hollered so many of our friends on from parkrun. It was a brilliant atmosphere. It was a hot day but so many people still managed to get PB’s.

Afterwards it was time for the final race, the 5K race. The pack seemed a little small, 140 people. Maybe this seemed small because I’m so used to looking at our huge parkruns! I’m sure the weather probably made some people DNS! Again we gave our support to everyone, but mostly the people we know from parkrun. It was nice to see them all as I’d missed parkrun the previous day due to work. Booo! We watched the last runner come in then headed over to watch the presentations.

The first three winners of each race were given a plaque and cash prize. I was pretty impressed, great medal and fantastic prizes for those who managed to achieve them! There were also bottles of wine for those who won their age categories. It’s the race that keeps on giving!

Image courtesy of Kieran

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks again Kieran

You know what I’m going to say now right?! Watching this race inspired me so much and now I’m eagerly awaiting the entries to open for the Gosport Golden Mile 2018 to open so I can enter. But the question is, which one? The mile? The 5k? Or Both?!

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Marshalling at the Gosport Half Marathon and Runners Reviews

Firstly I want to start this post with a big thank you to my parkrun family. When I messaged you all I only expected one or two to answer but actually so many of you answered. I’m absolutely overwhelmed by you all wanting to help out. So Thank You and on with the blog post.

On Sunday I marshalled at the Gosport Half Marathon. I was stationed in Lee-on-Solent where I live so it was really easy for me to walk to my marshalling point.

I had such a good morning. Where I was stood was mile 2, but as this was a two lap course it then became mile 6-7 meaning I got to cheer on my parkrun family and all the other runners not once but twice. In fact I got to cheer some on three times as where I was the runners then ran on, looped back and passed again behind us before starting their second loop and I was able to nip there before the front runners came back on their second loop.

The race was won by Jonathon Roberts of Southampton AC in a time of 1:09:40 which was a new course record! The female winner was Ellie Monks from Southampton in a time of 1:21:36. Given the weather these times are awesome!

Storm Angus blew through Gosport on Saturday night with really heavy rain and winds of 45mph so there was talk of the race being cancelled. However the weather fairy must have been smiling down as the rain stopped in plenty of time and the winds died down as each hour passed by.

The finishers bags are also pretty good. They included a Twix, Go Crispy slices, Capri Sun, bag of crisps, a banana, homemade cake, a voucher for 15% off at Absolute Running in Gosport and a material bag with the Gosport Half Marathon logo on.

There was also a Gosport Half Fun Run which was 1.2km.

Have you ever thought of running the Gosport Half Marathon? Here’s what some of the runners told me about the race.

Victoria W finished in 2:17:59
Had an amazing run at Gosport Half today. No PB however it was tough with that wind. With my mini supporters on route ready with free high fives and all the other supporters and marshals it made the run more enjoyable and just about doable. The views amazing once again, very lucky to have an amazing fantastic race on our door step very well organised. Cant say no to it 4th Gosport Half completed and sure I’ll be back again in 2017.

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Jade L finished in 2:06:03
Gosport Half has the most amazing atmosphere. The support from the volunteers and the local community was incredible and helped me break my target goal 😍
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Louise T finished in 2:09:58
I loved the race today – despite the wind I had a fantastic time. Route was lovely and support was incredible the whole way round.

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Louise on the left

Lara B finished in 2:17:59
My second year at the Gosport Half Marathon and once again a brilliant event with fantastic marshals and support from the locals. Conditions were a little challenging this year but still didn’t stop us all enjoying a fab run! Thanks to everyone who turned up today and cheered us on

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Victoria on the left Lara on the right

Penny N finished in 2:36:04

A well organised race that was just like a giant park run with lots of the usual park run marshals encouraging us around.
Amy W finished in 2:17:31
Gosport Half was very well organised by Gosport Road Runners and the local community. If it wasn’t for the road runners I probably would not of got my PB today.
There was no need for headphones as the samba band was brilliant and people playing music from their cars from Lee beach front
The goodie bag was pretty good and was so glad about the cake after battling the wind. Loved every minute of it.
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Paul A finished in 1:42:32
Gosport Half Marathon is a “must do” local race for me, even from being a visitor to the area and not a local! Today the wind made it a challenge but fabulous encouragement from the numerous marshals, friends and family certainly helped. The 2 laps and seeing runners coming the other way allows lots of waves and hellos with running friends too. I even managed a high 5 with my son and LOTS parkrun mini marshal Pearson, before he chased me and photo-bombed me 🙂 Plentiful water stations and entertainment help quick times on a mostly fast flat course, lean into the wind 1 way then float and be pushed the other. Personally a sore knee and calf meant I slowed over the last 3 or 4 miles so I can’t complain with a 1hr 42m time (although I do!)
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Louise B finished in 2:29:53
I had a brilliant run at the Gosport Half Marathon, mostly thanks to everybody, both marshals and spectators, who stood out in some challenging conditions to ensure that us runners were properly motivated to get our arses around the course! As a result I took 20 minutes off my previous HM time and am still smiling the day after 😃
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So there you have it, if you’re looking for a half marathon somewhere in the South you really can’t go wrong with the Gosport Half.

There’s a race review coming up from one of the runners too. Look out for it!

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