Monday, 21 March 2016

For the Honour Of Grayskull!

The Bath Half Marathon was on Sunday 13th March and I lived to tell the tale! Thanks to a friend who runs a fancy dress business (Dressing Up Box) I ran in costume as She-Ra, which got a lot more attention than I was expecting! I was photographed pre-race by BBC Radio Bristol, Top Bath Guide and I was filmed for the Bath Half website - catch at glimpse of me at 28 seconds in! I even made the front page of the Bath Chronicle article. So a BIG thank you to Dressing Up Box for my costume!
Princess of Power!
The atmosphere on the day was really uplifting and the cheers and support of the crowds was fantastic, even if very few people knew I was She-Ra – I was cheered as Wonder Woman, a Greek Goddess and a Roman Gladiator.
For the record, She-Ra is on the left, Wonder Woman on the right.
For the first several miles I would wave and call back “I’m She-Ra!” but by the last 4 miles I was so focused on getting through it that I didn’t even look up anymore! Being clapped and shouted for really helped me keep going and the encouragement of the other runners helped me stumble into a sprint finish. My chip time was 2 hours 39 minutes, a personal best that I am very proud of!

Stumbling towards death.

I will definitely be doing the Bath Half again next year, the support was incredible and it was the most friendly sporting event I have ever been to. I was chatting with several people before and during the race, including an incredible cancer survivor who was in her 50s and on her second half marathon in the last year, and a brilliant guy who was acting as a personal trainer to basically everyone around him in the last mile, cheering us all on and encouraging us to keep running!

Me waving in a moment of desperate joy.
The first 4 miles of the race felt great, even if I was overtaken by a man dressed in a full Darth Vader costume, but at about mile 5 the angle of the road started playing merry hell with my right ankle. I managed to run up to mile 6, after which I had to start doing walk intervals to ease the pain in my right leg. By mile 10 I was mostly limping with the occasional brief interval of jogging, and at mile 12 my mum snapped a photo of me looking like I’m stumbling towards death (see above). I still managed a cheery wave once I heard her call my name, though (see right)! My personal low point was being overtaken by two men dressed as a camel and then, in the final mile, I was overtaken by Ali G, someone dressed as a gorilla and someone dressed as Tully from Monsters Inc. Watching people in very hot, awkward costumes run past me was a real blow to my pride, but I kept slogging on and kept moving the whole way. 

Over a week later and I’m still limping, but I gave the race everything I had and did myself proud! Thanks to the incredible generosity of my sponsors, we’ve also raised an amazing £570 for Mind – and as my work match funds up to £500 that means Mind will be getting at least £1,070! There’s still time to sponsor if you can -
The very talented Kate aka Grumpy Jogger has immortalised me with a Paper Grump on her Cross Training Blog - which is hilarious and you should follow her! 
A HUGE thank you to everyone who has sponsored me and supported me through my training and on the day. It really made a huge difference and helped keep me going, and I’m honestly overwhelmed by how generous everyone has been! Now, for my next trick - getting a better time for the Bristol Half Marathon..!

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