Royal Parks Half Marathon race report
It’s the night before the Royal Parks Half and I’m at home alone having chosen to not go out and get pissed but to
get pissed at home instead stay in and get some rest and by 11pm I’ve decided that I’m probably not going to go to the race due to a) having drunk too much in a not very conducive to getting up early and running 13.1 miles kind of way; and b) not really seeing the point in turning up due to having done bugger all training but I wake up feeling surprisingly fresh and decide to go to the race but leave the house a bit later than intended and I get to the park and text Warriorwoman to let her know I’m at the park and she says she’s at the climbing wall and I haven’t a clue what the climbing wall is but when I get to the festival area I see it and I go to put my bag in but there’s a huge queue and by the time I get out of the queue it’s 9:50 and I go to the climbing wall but Warriorwoman’s not there so I think she must have gone to the start so I go to the start but I can’t see her due to there being about 20 million people there and a woman behind me keeps treading on me and when she treads on me for the fourth time I say FOR FUCKS SAKE and turn around and give her the evils and she says sorry and I’m wondering why I go to these big races that have 20 million people in them when I don’t like people or crowds and the gun eventually goes and people walk a few steps and I eventually get over the start line 7 minutes after the gun goes off and my plan is to run 8 miles and walk the rest if I have to as I’ve only done 7 miles in training and I do the first mile and it’s a bit quick and I think I have to slow down a bit and I’m dying for a wee as I didn’t have time after dropping my bag off and we go past a fountain which doesn’t make me want a wee any less and I’m wondering if I can go behind a tree and not be seen and then a girl comes off the path and squats down behind a tree and I think fuck that, I’m not that desperate, I’ll wait until I see some public toilets and I wonder where there are any and I’m nearly at two miles and I think I can’t carry on for another 11 miles bursting and it’s all I can think of and I see an underground station sign and I think what’s that station? and it’s Westminster station and on the sign it says toilets and I think hurrah and I go through the railings and down into the station and fuck, it costs 50p and I haven’t got any money on me and so I crawl under the turnstile thing and hope the attendant doesn’t come out of her hole and gets me although I’m so desperate I would be able to convince her it was an emergency but she doesn’t come out of her hole and I use the loo and ah, that’s better and I go back outside and I think what if everyone’s gone now and I’m all by myself and I won’t know which way to go but there’s still people coming and I rejoin the race and there’s a long stretch down the Embankment and I look at my watch and think Shaun must have finished his Ashford 10k by now and I wonder what his time was and at four miles the ball of my big toe on my right foot is hurting, as is the arch of my left foot is and I think oh no, that’s no good, I’ve got another 9 miles left but then I go past a man lying on the pavement being given oxygen by the paramedics and I wonder if he’s ok which he obviously isn’t and I wonder why he’s so bad after just four miles and there’s loads of people walking in charity vests and I think make a fucking effort if you’ve been badgering your friends, family and work colleagues into giving you money and I’m thinking why do I do these big races when the people who run them just bug me and it’s almost as bad as a Race for Life but at least I’m not surrounded solely by women in pink lycra walking really slowly and then we’re back in Hyde Park after going past Big Ben and the London Eye and Trafalgar Square and Buckingham Palace and running in the middle of Central London roads is really cool and with the crowd support it must be a little taster of what the London Marathon’s like, although I won’t get to know, what with me being a reject and that and I come to a water station and they’re giving out Powerade and I’m hoping Powerade doesn’t ming as much as Gatorade and it doesn’t ming and I get to the halfway mark and then on the other side of the path is the 10 mile marker and the faster runners are coming past and I think bollocks, they’re three miles ahead and at 8 miles I see Warriorwoman on the other side of the path and we give each other a wave and she looks like she’s enjoying herself and I realise I haven’t walked yet and I think I’ll see how I feel at 10 miles and if I want to walk then I will and I eventually get to 10 miles and I think hurrah, just a little 5k left to do, that’s nothing, but at just before 11 miles I think I’m going to have to stop and walk and I do and fuck, my feet, shins and knees are killing and I wonder if it’d be less painful to run as walking’s not really happening and I start to run again and then walk again for a bit and there’s a girl in front who keeps looking back for her mate and looping back to let her catch up and then running off in front again and I think STOP LOOKING BACK, EITHER RUN WITH YOUR MATE OR DON’T and she does it again and again so I keep running to get away from her but each time I stop to walk she overtakes and does her looking back and looping to let her mate catch up thing so I keep running and then I realise I’m surrounded by women and I think where have all the men gone? and I think I’ll have to get faster so I have some fit blokes to look at at races and then there’s a girl in front of me with a message on her t-shirt that she’s running in the memory of her brother and I think fuck that, I can’t have that in front of me for two more miles so I overtake her but I’m in pain and I have to walk but she overtakes me so I have to run again but then I have to stop again and Dead Brother Girl overtakes again so I have to run again and this goes on and on and I think fuck it, I’ll just run the rest of the way and then I’m on the last stretch and I can see the finish line and I think hurrah and the miles have just flown by and it’s been the best race ever and a beautiful sunny day and I get my wooden medal and go and get my bag and Shaun has texted to say he did his 10k in 45 minutes the speedy little git and Gary has texted to say he’s going to be late due to tube problems so I go and wait for Warriorwoman to finish then she texts me to say she couldn’t finish so I wander off and eventually meet up with Gary who is very very very late and we get pizza and spend the rest of the day in the pub. Hurrah.
Distance: 13:34 miles
Pace: 10:55 m/m