It was the best of times, it was the first of times. But regardless, I completed the Vitality Big Half yesterday. It was a half marathon through parts of London, both north and south of the River Thames. It started on the north side of Tower Bridge and ended in Greenwich, just by the Cutty Sark and the University of Greenwich.
I would love to write about the sights that I saw on my 13-mile journey but to be honest, there really isn’t much to comment on. Yes, there was Tower Bridge and the Cutty Sark, but aside from those, there really wasn’t much going on. I could write about the emotions that I experienced during the build-up on the day or the way I tried to keep focused on not keeping focussed on the running but honestly, that’s not exciting either.
What I did enjoy, despite the pain of long, boring, monotonous, laborious London roads, were the people standing on the side of these long, boring, monotonous, laborious London roads. Most were supporters of other runners, charities or running clubs. Some were marshals, St. John’s Ambulance volunteers or race officials. But each time I saw them clap, I would clap back, showing my appreciation for them being there. The addition of my name on my Stroke Association running vest meant that the majority of the clapping fanbase would shout encouragement directly to me, utilising my name. I felt pride, a deeper resilience and yes, a small amount of fame. I like to think that my new-found, self-proclaimed, celebrity-status meant that those running alongside me felt a little star-struck in running alongside someone so popular along the route. Except the Limehouse Link. That was a solitary effort. And one that didn’t help so early on. Too much heat, too many people running in my way. It certainly didn’t help as from this point on, I was running in my own sweat, at such an early stage. And I suspect the vehicular fumes normally contained within hadn’t dispersed properly, either.