I was inspired to try this Half-Marathon in particular, several years’ ago when Cathy first ran in it whilst I was a spectator. I was (just) running 5k at parkruns at that time. Since then, I gradually extended my range to enable me to run in 8k events (like at Blenheim), and then 10k (in London). It has taken me a couple of years, but I am absolutely delighted to have achieved this. Oxford has a lot of sentimental connections for me, so I’m doubly delighted to have run (and completed) my first Half-Marathon here. What you soon discover from taking part, is that there are literally thousands of other people just like you who have “got off the couch” and been surprised (like me) by what they can achieve. I recognise that I’ll never be the fastest runner, my age, on the planet but that doesn’t matter. I run to have a good time, not to get a good time; and you get to meet some really nice people along the way, participators and spectators alike.
Despite the last 3 miles (“just a parkrun” distance) being a particular challenge, I kept a smile on my face and was determined to enjoy the moment, and determined to finish come what may. And so I did, thanks to the crowds who were so supportive, (the Superman Tee helped) particularly when I needed a boost the most as I reached the final 300 metres. Even managed a cheeky sprint on the strength of that! Felt like a big kid!
My other half, doing the half with me, finished before me by a good 17 minutes. So proud of her PB for this run. Also a big shout out to our parkrun-buddy-from-the-North. (She knows who she is). It was she who encouraged us both to take part in the Round Sheffield Run in the Summer. Having finished that run (almost a half-marathon distance but CONSIDERABLY hillier than Oxford), I knew that the Oxford Half was an attainable goal.