Cardiff Half Marathon
sponsored run for www.classroomsintheclouds.com
By Hazel Adams of Kaboodle.
With inadequate training and a bright pink rain poncho we arrived at the runner’s village outside Cardiff ‘s prestigious city hall at 8.20am ON A SUNDAY!!!!!
It was about 8 deg and drizzling, perfect for a 13.1 mile torturous run. I don’t remember signing up for this, in fact I didn’t, it was that pesky Shayne!
After 2 long Queues for well used porta loos Shayne & I went our separate ways to stand in our timing pens ready for the race to start at 9am.
The announcers informed us that Nessa from Tv’s Gavin & Stacy was also running today which made me feel a little better thinking if she can do it so can I! He also informed us as our time pen was approaching the start line that the professional athletes had already completed the first mile in FOUR MINUTES! Yes thanks for that mate, my ten minutes per mile were looking pale in comparison.
Its amazing what sponsorship can make you achieve. If you are ever wondering if you could perhaps do something out of your comfort zone, tell people you are doing it, get them to sponsor you and by-gum you HAVE TO DO IT!
2 years ago I would have laughed at any idiot spending their free time running, now I’m the idiot. Not sure that came out right?
Anyway, sugar infused drink in hand, I-pod and newly discovered raspberry sugar rush gel in pocket we set off. NB, don’t give this stuff to kids unless you want them on the ceiling.
Un-known to me Shayne had got caught in another toilet queue and had ended up at the back of his group, penned in by a slow moving wall of people. After breaking free he dashed off too quickly and had to rein himself in at mile 4 before he wore himself out. Mean while I continued my happy “oh look at the wild flower meadow” pace reading peoples t-shirts and waving back to spectators. I guess one of us is a little more competitive than the other!
At mile six passing the bronze Millennium Centre I caught a glimpse of a clock to see I had been on the run for an hour so I was happy with my pace even though the top athletes had already finished by now. Bet they didn’t see the pretty flowers!
At mile 11 I kept an eye out for the ladies drinking tea on the lawn of the retirement home that I had seen last year and sure enough there they were supporting us again (another quick wave)
Having checked out the last part of the course the day before I knew that after I had gone over the railway it wasn’t far to the end. Mustering the last of my strength I made a dash for the finishing line, a medal and the best tasting banana I had ever had!
I completed the course in 2hrs and 6 minutes, a whole 8 minutes faster than last year! Shayne completed it in a fantastic 1hr and 45 minutes, himself 6 minutes faster than last year too.
So after vowing this would be my last marathon I am signing up for Cardiff 2015 to try and crack the 2hr barrier, a friend tells me you get muscle memory so next year I wont need to train at all! Ha ha!
After a well earned breakfast we debriefed the race and formed tactics for next year happy that we had raised enough money to fund Mani Rai our sponsored teacher in Nepal for another 7 months through the fantastic charity classroomsintheclouds.org