Queen Elizabeth Country Park Spring Half Marathon March 2018

The clocks go forward………. Had we changed all the clocks in the house, was the alarm set? Phew all done rest easy, except a rather hilly half marathon to run in the morning.
We arrived at QE park to well sign posted free car parking, met up with Bryony and Steve who had arrived whilst we continued that favourite of ours faffing. Nice cup of tea in the café to warm us up.

Wondered down to see the brave marathon runners and to meet up with Sarah-Jayne and to our surprise there was Martin as well. We saw them off up the first of many hills and returned to car clutching our chipped time numbers.

Now time for our pre-race briefing and full of excitement for the hills ahead! Off we go, up the first hill a mere 206ft of ascent, we decided to walk/totter we have a long way to go. Numbers are not massive which gave it a nice feel of not being rushed and potentially getting in faster runner’s way. Onwards and upwards for the first two miles, bit muddy underfoot but not in the league of Winter Tanners!

Top of the hill and a photo is essential, this is trail after all.

We meander through the best QE park offers to start our descent for the next 2 miles, smile for the camera, professional photographer awaiting our smiley faces and we didn’t disappoint, we were having a great time. Unfortunately, what goes down must go up………

Our first checkpoint, cheese and pineapple on sticks, wotsits, doritos, jelly beans etc all on offer along with coke, squash and lovely marshals.

Soon after leaving the checkpoint we were passed by the lead marathon runner, who had already done 17 miles and looked fresh, he was a long way ahead of the next runner.

A few slight hills followed by significant hills always knowing we were going to follow this pattern for 13 miles. More marathon runners pass us, we clap them and whoop ‘well dones’, they reciprocate to us as well, love that about trail running.

We are getting closer encouraged by the excellent marshals who have this amazing ability to tell fibs about the terrain. Richard makes a bid for freedom and finishes the last 2 miles is a very respectable pace. It is not a flat finish, one last long gradual hill to conquer and we are on the home straight, cheered back by the general public and we are doing our final bit, egged on by Richard shouting from the finish line. Me and Tracy hold hands held up high over the finish line, we did it. Fabulous bunny rabbit medal put over our heads, not just given to us, nice touch. Bottle of water and we wait for a couple of girls who have been with us on and off the whole 13 miles, congratulate them and we
are on a way home. Proudly wearing our medals and smiling

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