I bloody well did it.

I ran a half marathon…!

Finisher's medal  + smile

If you read my previous training post, you’d know that the tapering was getting to my head and wigging me out a little bit. To say I was nervous for this race was an understatement.

The night before I barely got any sleep; I woke up an hour before my alarm. My parents and brother were driving me to hackney so it was early starts for all. Race kit on, and pre-race fuel (1/2 a bagel with homemade vanilla coconut almond butter + banana slices) and we were on the road.

Race Kit

Miles 1-4

It took about 25 minutes for me to actually get over the start line – I purposefully started around the sub 2:30 mark as I wanted to start slow and pace myself. It was so hot so I knew I needed to get my pacing right in order not to burnout too quickly.

Race Bib

The first four miles were a breeze. The only hiccup was getting to mile 3 and learning that there was no water at the water pit..!!! I wasn’t too alarmed, as I felt fine, but I soon realised that I wasn’t going to be getting any liquid until around mile 6. Not okay. Around 3.5 miles I saw an unopened water pouch on the sidewalk so I grabbed it – and thank goodness I did. It was hot hot hot, my lips were dry and I was parched. I sipped slow and often on that pouch and made it last until around mile 8.

Miles 5-8

I have to say I think I prefer trail running. It was exciting running in my home borough, but IMO there weren’t that many people out so the atmosphere wasn’t too buzzing. I was feeling good, and strong, and had picked up the pace quite a bit. At mile 8 I ate my fuel (jelly babies). This made my mouth incredibly dry and I was so thirsty – so thank you to the kind man who was handing out cups of water around mile 8.5! I’d noticed a few runners been taken ill – which was really worrying to see. The heat can really make you sick when you’re running; in hindsight, I’m glad that I’d done a few torturous training runs in the heat!

The Race Village

Miles 9-13.1

I was beginning to tire around mile 9, but overall I was feeling pretty fab. Run Hackney was touted as a flat course, and I would agree – but there were quite a few sneaky inclines that I wasn’t expecting. Again, I was thankful that my training had included hill runs as my calves were used to getting me over them! The crowd had thinned out and so it was a bit quiet during these parts; there weren’t that many runners either. At around mile 11 (where my parents were waiting for me with more jelly babies) I really hit a wall. This was the beginning of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and it was my least favourite part of the course. The course was winding, and included a lot of coming back on yourselves, which is so disheartening when you see the mile markers but they don’t actually correspond to where you are – the trickery! There was no shade at all in the park, and quite a few inclines, so it was no wonder that there were quite a few runners being attended by paramedics. I stopped and walked about between miles 11-12 – I had to pee really badly and my calves were seizing up. I pushed through and picked up the pace – including a sprint finish (and a high-five from my friend at the Celena along the way). I finished the race at 2:16.

The Good

I loved:
– The location. A half-marathon in East/central London is ace. Really great.
– The runners. Everyone was really supportive of each other and the camaraderie was great to be a part of
– The fact that it was my first half marathon 🙂
– The course was OK. Didn’t like the last 3 miles.

The Bad

I wasn’t so much a fan of:
– Running out of water at the first water stop is a massive failure. If you’ve got 12K + runners, on a hot day. Get.Lots.Of.Water
– The mile markers were weirdly spaced and some were randomly missing. Not ideal for pacing or motivation
– I wish there had been more people out spectating. More advertising/awareness next year will improve that I can only imagine
– The long walks between the closest stations and the race village…a 25 min walk is NOT want you want after a race in heat like today!

Run Hackney Half Medal

I’m really glad I trained hard as I think it paid off in the end…I’m tired now, but I don’t feel completely destroyed. I’m not sure I want to do another half marathon, but I definitely want to do a tough mudder! One of Australia, I think.

Did you Run Hackney?

5 thoughts on “13.1 Miles – Run Hackney”

  1. Congrats on your first half! I also ran my first one a few weeks ago, and it’s such an awesome feeling of achievement 🙂 It was super hot this weekend though, so must have been awful that they ran out of water!

    1. Thank you!! Still can’t believe I did it – felt much easier than I was expecting. Yeah really not a fan of the heat..think any future halts will be done in Spring/Fall x

  2. well done you! I couldn’t bare to do it in the heat + the water issue is soooo bad. also why do races always have that winding, going back yourself bit right near the end?! but good time and really really good time with the heat and lack of water. hope you’re happy! 🙂

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