The loud, roaring sound of the starting horn went and I was off. The crowds of spectators were cheering all of us runners on as we made our way through the opening mile and on the long road ahead. The 13.1 mile course went through the city centre, Edgbaston, Bournville and back again with long stretches of flat terrain and slopes both upwards and downwards mixed in for good measure.
I saw a wide range of participants ranging from elite-level veterans to fundraisers dressed in amusing attire. Some were dressed as ballerinas, others as superheroes. A group was even dressed as the Jamaican winter Olympic team from Cool Runnings complete with a bobsled on wheels! It was good to see that many people were having fun and challenging themselves for a good cause.
I was definitely in my zone for most of the distance. Some places were familiar to me such as Edgbaston Cricket Ground and Cadbury World but others were brand new territory. This course went everywhere! I wasn’t too thrilled at the amount of inclines I had to contend with, especially towards the end. However, I pressed on, making sure that I was hydrated throughout and didn’t over-exert myself. The volunteers were very helpful in ensuring a safe and enjoyable day for both the runners and spectators.
Just a few miles to go and most of the day’s work was behind me. My body at this point felt rigid and stuck in position like on a rail. Luckily I didn’t occur any serious injuries so I kept going powering on. A handful of jelly babies gave me a quick burst of energy for the last mile. As I went down one more tunnel, I saw the sign that said ‘800m to go’. The end was finally here. At last, I made it to Broad Street and the final stretch. With the amazing feeling of going the distance, I didn’t want to slow down so kept my pace all the way until I crossed the finish line.
I made sure that my cool-down was long and extensive. I did as many stretches as I could think off the top of my head. There was a massage/physiotherapy tent for all the runners to use. I took full advantage of the facilities provided for a well-earned rest. As I made my way back home with my medal pack, I felt incredibly proud of myself and eagerly excited for the next run.