Reflections on the Cardiff Half Marathon 2010
Sunday morning dawned with near perfect running conditions for my third Cardiff half marathon; dry, cold and still. And if the glorious sunshine was a little blinding at times, it was a price worth paying to see the city bathed in light.
Over eleven thousand runners took part this year, but I struck very lucky when the start was moved to just outside my daughter’s flat meaning I could avoid those loo queues! In theory this should also have made me calm and rested, but I was my usual gibbering heap before the race and still had a pre-race cry.
The new course was extremely congested in places, making it very difficult to get past walkers and groups of three and four running together, and I was glad to get to mile six when we were through the parks and had space to take off. However, the atmosphere was brilliant with lots of people encouraging each other along the way and great support from a fantastic Cardiff crowd.
What I really noticed this year was how many of us carry our loved ones with us. I cry at the start every race because I run for my dad and everything he’s missed, but as I moved through the crowds there were many runners who were not alone. Fallen comrades, lost babies, grieved-for parents and friends were there amongst us – I’m filling up now, thinking of the mum I passed, younger than me, running for her ‘beautiful daughter, Elle’- so many people loved and remembered.
It must have been thinking about family that made me suddenly look up at mile 12 to see Tom, Lily and Stepson Two all smiling and waving at me (the video clips shows how pleased I was to see them!). By the time I finished the race, Gorgeous Girlf had joined them too (she and Stepson Two had come all the way to Cardiff to surprise me) and although I was wearing my medal by then, the real treasure was all around me in the happy memories of the day.
Low point: Feeling in need of an energy boost at mile 6 and discovering that I dropped my Haribo bears!!! Disaster!
High point: Overtaking three young blokes and hearing one comment, ‘Bloody hell, she must be fit!’
Favourite quote: At mile 11 on seeing a runner ambling towards us wearing his finisher’s medal, hearing the man next to me say, ‘F*cking hell! Is he taking the p*ss?’
All in all, another memorable half marathon. Now, do I sign up for the Llanelli half in March?