Slightly late with my Great South Run report and I can’t remember the specifics now, so here’s a bit of a list of what I liked and what pissed me off.
The hotel was fab. It had a big squidgy bed and whenever I go to bed now, I feel like I’m sleeping rough. 16 pillows were a bit OTT though.
Brilliant service in the Pizza Express, unlike the ignorant sloths they employ in their Ashford branch.
The VIP tent
Best thing ever. I am INSISTING on being a VIP at all future races. It was warm and comfy and there were free drinks and free food and clean, flushable toilets with no queues and we got to hang out with Iwan Thomas, Kelly Holmes and Sally Gunnell (standing a few feet away = hang out with, ok?) My blue fleece was still in there after I’d finished running, too (except someone had taken the 50p that was in it).
Yeah, I know I’m not a fan of squawking, screaming, badly behaved brat things but children wanting to lo-five me was cute.
My Nike Vapor Windrunner Jacket
We parked two miles away from the race and I would have frozen if I hadn’t had my new Nike Vapor Windrunner Jacket. It kept me warm and dry and folded up small enough to put in my bag.
It was flat. There were no hills. This was good.
The water stations
A bit strange, as there wasn’t any water until about five miles, so I hung on to mine in case that was it, but then there was water station after water station after water station… (One was a Powerade station – blimey, that Powerade gave me a much needed boost, that’s for sure.)
I played Audiofuel’s marathon long run training sessions which are 2 x 1 hour each. So… two hours of Audiofuel and I finished in 2 hours, when I was expecting it to be nearer 3. Coincidence? I don’t think so – Audiofuel is magic.
The race bling
Bling is good.
Post-race beer and food
Burger, chips and beer. My favourite post-race food. (To be fair, any food after a race is my favourite, as long as it’s accompanied by beer.)
Sorry, Portsmouth, but the bits I saw in the evening were just not pretty. We visited two areas to check out the restaurants but they were both a low-rent Canary Wharf and I flipping hate Canary Wharf. Cold and characterless.
The most boring, unattractive route ever. A pretty first mile with some ships and stuff then 9 miles of run down residential areas. At least there weren’t any hills.
I’ve got my own music, thank you.
Because I’m slow, I get stuck at the back with all the charity divs who start walking after half a mile. I also don’t appreciate being surrounded by people who support vivisection (i.e. people wearing Cancer Research UK or British Heart Foundation vests). And while I’m moaning about charity runners, Harvey Army – if you read this, you were fucking annoying when you started chanting for ten minutes at the 10k mark.
The last two miles
The baggage drop
The baggage drop was a room where you left your bag. No check-in, no security, just dump it on the ground and hope it’s still there when you come back.
I just want to finish and fuck off not walk for three miles back to the bag drop.
The chip removal woman
The chip removal woman was a sour-faced old moo who stood on my foot to give herself more leverage to remove my chip. I HAD BLISTERS AND YOU STANDING ON MY FOOT FUCKING HURT AND I HOPE YOU NEVER EVER EVER VOLUNTEER AGAIN YOU SOUR-FACED OLD MOO.
So, would I run the Great South Run again? Doubtful. The organisation was great, it all went smoothly, it started on time, so there’s no criticism there, it’s just put me off big charity runs. Virgin London Marathon is now looking unlikely.