As most of you know, on Sunday I ran my second Half Marathon, in Manchester. I ran the first one last year after thinking it was something I would never be able to do. BUT I DID IT! And this year I came back for more.
The fact I had done it before didn't make it any less scary, in fact more so because I wanted to prove that it wasn't a fluke!
So after training for 6 months, on Sunday morning me and my Dad went to the start line for 9am. We heard it was going to be warm but it was red hot! (This is the only day I will ever complain about the sunshine). The atmosphere was amazing although I was so nervous. After last year I said that I wanted to enjoy this year more and take in my surroundings. I set out to beat last years time but once it reached 24c, I knew that wasn't happening. I just wanted to finish!
So off we went! The first 1k and 1m weren't so bad, followed by open sunshine along the Mancunian way, to the Etihad and back down Ashton Old Road, by the time we got to 6 miles the sun started to get to me, but I knew I was going to do it. We were armed with water, energy gels and Colin the Caterpillar sweets.
Then off to Old Trafford which was the longest, most boring road (I remembered how boring this was from last year) which was open and not sheltered from the sun at all. This was where we passed 9miles, 10 miles (Old Trafford) and 11miles. But 11 miles I was well and truly melting and my legs were so heavy. Me or my Dad have never run in that heat before. (he's a seasoned runner so it must be bad if he said that!)
People lined the streets to hand out sweets and cheer people on. It was a brillant atmosphere. I didn't notice the 12mile marker which was maybe a good thing because I kept searching for it and by the time I saw the Hilton I knew I was nearly there. All I had to concentrate on was the Bridge (Deansgate) and I knew my family (and dog) were somewhere near waiting for us.
The next thing I knew we had 200m to go and I could see my family. My Dad grabbed my hand and we crossed the finish line hand in hand. Those 200m were the longest ever but we got there! And I have the medal to prove it!
Here's some photos from the race. I apologise for the "Marathon" banner, I have taken them from the website.