Gloucester 1/2 marathon (20th January 2019)

I typed the post code for my allocated parking into Google maps and set off in good time. I’d entered the race only 5 days before the event so needed to register on the day and collect my race number and arm bands. I was feeling good as I drove down the M5 to Gloucester. Unfortunately, Google Maps eventually started giving me directions that had me driving around in circles without ever reaching the allocated parking. Time was moving on so I started exploring and finally managed to locate the parking area 15 minutes before the start time. Time was really short so I parked the car, put on my running shoes and jogged the half mile to the race HQ. Actually, toilet facilities were limited and there was a really long queue 5 minutes before the start of the half marathon. Probably the reason for this was that there were three races on the same course with staggered start times (1/2 marathon, marathon and 50k). I decided to dispense with the toilet anticipating there would be somewhere on the course. But, the 1/2 marathon start was 200 yards up the road and as we passed race HQ I knew it wouldn’t wait so I dashed off to use the toilets which were now free and returned to the course 2 minutes later. Not a good start really but the 1/2 mile jog from the car park was a good warm up and the challenges helped keep me alert.

On a critical note, mile markers were useless because there were three races and just a jumble of distances displayed on cards. For example, I noticed a 5 mile marker but the distance at that point was more like three miles. Colour coded markers would have been clearer. The two loops course itself was one of the flattest I’ve ever run on and it was a pleasantly mild day. As for my running experience, I maintained a steady pace throughout that was quicker than my usual training pace. I was really pleased with this and felt generally good all the way with regard to energy and durability. About 10 miles, the toe on my left foot started to have a slight pain but then went into the background until afterwards. I’m still looking for a cure for the sore toe.

Finishing time: 2hr 24.22 - 16th in the 60-69 category