Last October I was at home and flicking through the tv channels I came across a running race called ” Great South Run “. I never heard of that before, and it was in Portsmouth. Which is about 50 mins drive from Basingstoke. Seeing all the amazing runners I’ve decided that it’s time for me to run this race. It’s a 10 mile race around Portsmouth and surprisingly really flat, but can be really windy.
the race this year was on the 22nd of October, but I travelled back to Hungary on the 16 just for a short holiday. Whilst we were away they announced it that Brian the storm is coming to england, so there’s a risk of cancelling the event. It’s by the coast and the sea can be temperamental. Unfortunately they had to cancel all saturday races, but luckily they haven’t cancelled the main race which was on sunday.
Because my expected finish time was over 2hrs I’ve been placed into the green wave, and our start time was 11.05am.
Woke up nice and early to eat my usual pre race breakfast, which is porridge. I usually eat just a plain one, because I haven’t found a great tasting one. Even when i bought the most expensive ones they tasted bland. So whilst I was back home I’ve bought my favourite porridge ever. it was roughly about 30p/bag so not expensive at all and also this only needs water , no milk required. If any oy you can suggest a great tasting porridge please let me know and I’ll try it out.
Went to pick up my sister at 8am and we were off to Portsmouth. Could of left a bit later but didn’t want to risk not getting there. They closed down most roads from about 9.30ish. So after that we couldn’t park at the shopping centre’s car park.
Got to Portsmouth nice and early, after a coffee break we started to follow the other runners and walked to the starting area.
The wind was really strong so I was worried that my race will be hard and I wont be able to keep my pace up, but at least the sun was shining 🙂
Was debating to wear my jumper or not during the run, but knowing myself I had a feeling that I’ll be sweating after a mile, so left my jumper with my hubby.
11am came quickly and we were off with my sister. She’s a much faster runner than me but she didn’t feel too well so decided that we will try to run together as much as we can.
The start was awesome, I never seen this many spectators cheering on a 10 mile course. But have to say the spectators were awesome all around the course. The only part without spectators were the dock yards, but that was only for a few hundreds of metre.
W started a bit faster than we were supposed to , ended up next to the 1h50 pacer bunny. But managed to keep up with them till around mile 4ish.
At the start area we have seen a few T-rexs and a whole squad of police force with ‘prisoners’. I managed to catch the police force and couldn’t say no for a selfie 😛 By the looks of it they clearly had loads of fun.
So the race was mostly uneventful, I managed to keep up my pace and we got to mile 5 in spot on 1hr. I knew well that eventually I’ll be a bit slower so there’s no chance that I’ll get under 2 hrs, but I wasnt worried or stressed about that.
Quick selfie with my sister.
The first water stop wasnt till like around mile 4 mark, but i didn’t want to get a drink because I really needed the loo by that time. But the queue at he loos were massive, if I’d stopped I would have lost about 1o mins and that wasn’t really worth it.
I’m pretty chuffed with my pace, other than a few 8mins once, most of them were in the 7mins mark. Can see it that I’ve slowed down a few times, but I mostly just wanted to enjoy the race.
from around mile 6 I was running alone, my sister decided to walk because she got stomach cramps and told me to go and concentrate on my own race.
By this time there were still loads of spectators out and also loads of runners as well. managed to get some jelly babies from strangers and that kept me going. Have to remember to take some sweets with me for my runs. Used 2 gels out of the 4 I had, but it felt more than enough for the 10 miles. Usually I take one every 30 mins, but somehow I didn’t need them on the day.
The last 2 miles were the hardest part, we were out on the coast and the wind got really strong. Stopped for a bit of walking bread and then seen the 2h5mins pacer running past me. that gave me a massive boost to start running and also managed to take him over. After that point I haven’t looked behind me, I just tried to be as fast as I can to stay front of him. Seen my husband at the 400m to go sign, that gave me the finally boost to run the last part of the race. When I got there I’ve changed my tomtom’s display to show just the time with seconds. I think it was roughly around 3h3 mins, I really wanted to be under 2hr 5 mins so tried to sprint off the last few hundreds of metre. The spectators must have thought I’m crazy cos sprinting off the last bit. But I have crossed the finish line in 2hrs 4mins 27secs. I felt awesome that I managed to get under 5mins. i know others running much faster than me, but this is still an achievement for me. My next goal is to get under 2hrs.
Shaving off 4.5mins is a hard job, need to keep up my faster pace longer and make sure I still have the energy for the rest of the race. I don’t have a set date to beat this time, so hopefully by the end of next year I’ll be under 2 hours.
After crossing the finish line I went to collect my goodie bag, at first I was worried that I have missed the medal collection point but after looking in my goodie bag I’ve found my well earnt medal. the goodie bag had some great items in it, loved the chocolate and also ordered the newspaper to get it delivered to my address.
Have to say I loved the race! It was nice and flat, the supporters were awesome, great medal and goodie bag. Perfectly organised race. I have a feeling that I’ll be running it next year as well. Because I have a time to beat now lol .
This was my last long run before the upcoming New York marathon, I’ll have about 5-6 more runs before the 5th of november but all those will be about 3-4 miles long.