One of the club’s favourite events in the calendar each year is the Fleet Half Marathon – fleethalfmarathon.com.
It is a long-standing local event organised by one of our fellow local clubs Fleet and Crookham AC. Offering a great course (mild undulations, closed roads, good support and atmosphere) and a strong – club runner heavy – field of around 3,000 runners it is a good opportunity for BVR to turn out in force in their blue and yellow shirts and chase a few PBs.
This year represents the best turn out yet with a massive 52 runners from all sections of the club – that’s nearly half of our membership! Some were attempting their first Half Marathon and others were seasoned runners looking for that elusive PB. The weather was, well, fine. Really bright, a little bit sunny, perfect for running and my personal favourite run of the year so far.
We agreed to meet in the field near the finish at 10am for a club photo – pre-race – given we expected 50+ club shirts we really could manage a group photo worthy of publication! And here’s the result…
As always the usual level of healthy competition exists throughout the club with a bit of friendly banter in the start area and a few people choosing who else in the club to follow as a pacer.
The gun fires at 10:30 and the field takes a full 3 minutes to cross the line. We know this because Nick insisted on being the last to cross the line, having to circle a few times before crossing the line to ‘out do’ the others trying to do the same!
The course passes down the high street twice in the first five miles and this spectacle gathers a huge crowd every year. Bright, sunny weather helps today of course.
A number of our runners had generously volunteered to marshal at the event this year. Without marshals events like this don’t happen so we encourage anyone who can’t run (maybe they have an injury or are ill so need to miss the event) to marshal and support the events members of the club regularly enjoy.
Throughout the route these familiar and friendly faces appeared cheering their fellow club members of with the odd enthusiastic high five too.
So with such bright, pleasant running conditions the odd PB here and there was inevitable. Scott crossed the line in a blistering 1h17m (PB) to claim 40th place followed by Steve in 1h21m (PB) taking first in his age category and Alex setting a PB of 1h26m. Then followed Lawrence 1h32m (PB), Jason 1h34m (PB) Alan 1h35m (PB), myself and Nick nipping at my heels again this year – very impressive having started at the very back of the field!
It didn’t end there… the following people also set PBs! (a long list follows)
Amanda, Chris McW, Karen Jones (PB by 30 mins!), Linda R, Charley W, Sarah F, Zoe B, Linda F, Andy M, Steve M, Michelle B, and Lee J.
Congratulations to Karen M, Tina M, Susie, Kate B, Scott, Lucy E, Jennifer H, Hanne and John Taylor for running their first half marathon too.
And finally a big thanks is due to the members who volunteered, it was great to see your smiling faces en-route! Karine, Steve R, Mary, Claire, Deb, Kay, Ave and Shanie.
Same again next year? ;)