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Hampton Court Half Marathon Race Report, and there’s more……..

Hi there my name is Alex and I have been a member of the Joggers for nearly four years (sounds like AA)…………time flies! After years of various health problems and subsequent operations I decided to give the joggers a go. I joined the beginners’ course in Spring 2011 when Mark and Gayle were overseeing us newbies. The first few sessions were pretty excruciating due to my poor fitness level. However, after breaking the pain barrier I realised I quite enjoyed shuffling around the beautiful Henfield countryside. Mark was very kind and still offered to babysit us around the well-trodden trials he knew, even after the course had ended. I was, and still am very slow so I really appreciated all his help and patience ……….we must have driven him mad. However I met another like-minded (in other words similar pace) newbie called Katie on the beginner course and we tried to make the shuffling (more talking) a regular thing. We did a few fun runs and a 10k until Katie decided for me as well as for herself to enter the Hampton Court Half Marathon 23rd Feb 2014, this decision was made at the end of October……………yikes!. Anyway with Christmas and the biblical weather we didn’t manage a lot of runs before. We did do a couple of ten mile road runs where I mainly wept and had sense of humour failures! Fast forward Sunday 23rd February ………….I was at this stage still in denial, we left here at six o’clock in the morning after waking at five (not pretty). The race started at Esher College and there were lots of people there (I think 2,500 had entered) and it was bloomin’ freezing even though the weather forecast had said it was going to be mild. We met King Henry VIII

Jogger Henry VIII
Jogger Henry VIII

and pretended to blend in feeling like a bit of a fraud…………… we set………..doubtless to say……… the back. And that was it I for one ‘plodded’ or should say ‘had an even pace’ and trundled past Hampton Court was buffeted (there were strong winds) up the river. The attraction of this race was that it was flat of course although I wasn’t feeling the ‘love’ as my feet both hurt, knees and general knackeredness set in. By the ten mile marker I was indeed quite ‘cross’ and those last three miles each one clearly marked were a

Alex and Katie - medalled up!
Alex and Katie – medalled up!

complete killer. But we did ‘run’ (loose term) all the way, Katie crossed the finish 2.41 and I came in at 2.42 …………. we have the engraved medals and are walking like John Wayne to prove it. So for all you people who never think you could do a half marathon …………………if we can, you can.