After the great year that I’ve had racing, being a Gamesmaker this summer at London 2012 and having completed a very hilly Loch Ness marathon only 3 weeks ago most people would have chucked their running shoes to the back of the cupboard and not retrieved them until the New Year.
But no not me, I had a prized race number promised to me – I’d be runner number 1 for Devises half marathon. It’s not that I’m a secret elite running in a fat suit, it’s because many many months ago I was first to enter an Events Logic race. Hope that answers all those who asked today “How on earth did you get number 1”
This was my first, only and probably last time I’ll get the sacred number 1 so I had to fish those running shoes out of the case that was discarded in the spare room since Scotland and run again.
I was expecting a wet one and rain jacket as the forecast had shown storms and downpours, but as usual the weatherman got it wrong and we had clear blue & cloudy skies in perfect running temps and dry roads.
Getting into Devizes & parking was a breeze, free on Sundays. The Green was buzzing with registration, catering, queues for the loos and runners jigging about warming up or deciding whether to go to the loo for the hundredth time.
Anna got things going with a Zumba warm up and we were in the starting pen and off at 10am. Great to see so many friendly and familiar faces around all enquiring about the race number 🙂
The route left the Green and headed out along the main road which Wiltshire Police had closed for us and gave us priority for – thank you. After a mile and half or so we left the town and headed into the countryside and rural roads, over canals, past fields and farms, weaved through picturesque villages with duck houses, monuments and barns. The water stops also has an abundant supply of Jelly Babies – no one said what the limit was so I maxed out – pig ! I can’t keep this fat suit inflated on water alone.
Maybe I also over did it on the water as at mile 5 I had to dive down a tree lined track for a wee stop. How can I run a marathon or triathlon without stopping but half marathons get me veering off course looking for conveniences ?
The first few miles were scenic and slightly uphill, but after Loch Ness I didn’t notice – until mile 9’s hill. Then started admiring and inspecting the scenery in much more detail at a slower walking pace. But what goes up comes down.
Coming back into town the police will still in place and joining in with the marshals providing much appreciated support and cheer.
I flew down the finish shoot to the applause of the crowd, swooping around the playground on the green lapping up the last support and congratulation. Savouring my last moments as a number 1 lol. Then all too soon ( she lies) it was over.
My legs were not happy with me after the hill at mile 9 reminding me that I have trained and raced over 1200 miles in 2012. And yes Luke the race director caught me walking at mile 11 ;-( His words of encouragement – its downhill, only 2 miles to go and the free pint of beer at the finish kicked me back into action, ok slow motion.
Beep beep – I’d finished, drank 4 cups of water, got a great medal and my prized pint glass. No real idea of time but I didn’t care, I’d finished, found my friends who kindly waited for me and was now in search of the pub for my free pint of Wadworth 6X.
Sitting in the Bell on the Green pint in hand reflecting on the race – yes I’ll be back to do Devizes Half again, hopefully on fresher legs. It was well organised, happy cheery marshals and the medal and pint glass were classy bits of bling and race memorabilia. I really enjoyed the race, scenery, friendliness, route etc.
Thanks Events Logic, I’ve enjoyed your races this year and good luck for next years events. I’ll be around.
Cheeky one – but can I have number 1 again next year for Devizes Half ??? 🙂
I’m sure there are easier ways to get a free pint ! But this one tasted so good after 13 miles of effort.