Monday, 8 March 2010

I survived the experience

I had the most amazing weekend!On Friday night I went out with ‘JJ’ to the local ‘Ballans Café’ for dinner. It was nice seeing him after a few days apart and sharing our latest news over a nice dinner.We woke up really early on Saturday morning to go to get the rented car. Fortunately for us they didn’t have available the type of car we booked (Vauxhall Astra) so we got upgraded for free. We had the option between Ford Mondeo, Vauxhall Zafira and Renault Scenic. For no particular reason we picked the Scenic and drove to Windsor. The day was wonderful, slightly cold but sunny. We walked to the castle and took some photos. We spent the rest of our visit enjoying breakfast in the high street and then walking all the way to Eton to take a look at the famous Eton College which most of the royal family attended. It was fun watching the (filthy rich) pupils running between classes.

The crooked house of Windsor

The Windsor Castle


Next stop was IKEA. It is like a tradition we have now. Each time we have a car we HAVE to visit IKEA. ‘JJ’ wanted to buy a new bookcase and as always I was able to find some little bits to buy as well. I got some funky pillows for my living room. The day ended with us having large portions of pasta (to get some carbs) and watching 'Run fat boy run' which was appropriate for the occasion. (I love this movie)…

However the major event of the weekend was the trip to Bath and my half marathon on Sunday. My housemate (‘hm’), ‘JJ’, me and ‘gb’ (also doing the run) left London around 7 o’clock in the morning. It’s a little bit more than 2 hours drive. We made our stop for breakfast and coffee where I only had some fruit and nuts. I was feeling a bit nervous but the journey itself was pretty nice. We were singing, dancing and laughing in the car (as usual), making a fool out of ourselves to the other cars. We arrived there in time to find a decent parking place within a walkable distance from the center and we headed to the starting point.

The place was packed. There were 15,000 registered runners. Imagine all of them accompanied by family and friends. It was simply awesome. Bath was overwhelmed. I left my housemate and ‘JJ’ to find a spot between the spectators and I headed with ‘gb’ to our starting point. When we registered for the run, we registered our target time of finish. That information placed each runner into a specific position separating the runners from the joggers. We were in the last group to reach the start line but of course we didn’t mind. The weather was amazing, a bit cold but very sunny. We were so excited about the whole thing.

And the race began.I stayed with ‘gb’ for the first 5 miles. We then separated with him running ahead. He is in a better shape than I am and he has a natural talent in running. He used to compete when younger. I finished the rest of the race running on my own.

There were so many spectators however cheering, yelling and clapping their hands in the freezing cold that made it all bearable and much more enjoyable. It was sunny but very cold (around 2 degrees Celsius) and there were people outside their houses for more than 2 hours trying to cheer the runners! It was an amazing experience. I had my name written on the front of my t-shirt and I could hear people calling me, trying to encourage me. I can’t explain how empowering that was.
I also managed to see ‘JJ’ and ‘hm’ in both laps. They were ecstatic trying to get some pictures of us running and also cheer for us!

I still remember a guy holding his baby in front of his house next to the river, yelling: ‘Hey Nik, keep it going son, you can do it’! There was another guy playing a guitar in the cold for more than two hours! I can’t really explain what it meant for the runners.

On a very funny side, there were runners dressed as supermen, batmen etc. There was a guy dressed in a medieval armor, another dressed as PacMan and two guys running with massive fake boobs for the breast cancer foundation. I was told that there was a guy running with a stroller and his child in it (I missed that).
The route was very beautiful since it included parts of the city centre and parts in the nearby wooded area. Unfortunately it was a bit hilly making it a bit tough for me. I was really struggling in the last mile but I was so happy and proud when I reached the end!
I did the 13.1 miles (22 kilometers) in 2 hours and 33 minutes. I don’t know if it’s too slow but to be honest I didn’t train that much and I was ill the past week.

Overall it was an amazing experience and I will do it again. I don’t care that I have muscle pain and walk funny for a few days…

The medal


  1. 'Run, fat boy, run' is such an amazing movie, lol!
    Sounds like an amazing experience. I'm really glad all went well =)
    The the muscle aching is well worth it ;)
    Nice medal!!

  2. Congratulations on running the marathon! I'm very impressed. My colleagues and I are on the look out for runs to try once we've cracked the, by your standards, 5k... so I will keep my eye on your achievements for inspiration! I really like your writing style. I can tell you're smiling when you post most of your blogs!! :-)

  3. Well done to you. Isn't the medal so much more that a piece of metal, eh?


  4. @Pedders Thanks...

    @Mike not exactly a marathon (yet), just a half... My first run was the 10k for Cancer Research I did last September. I think that if you register first for the run, you'll be more motivated to train...

    @MadeInScotland You're right. It's much more than just metal...

  5. Hey, well done Nik. Good for you. You should be feeling dead proud of yourself. And also, I'm glad things with JJ are still going strong. Sounds like you may have found 'the one'

    Ry :D

  6. Congrats! This post put a smile on my face. :-)

    Now then... to wipe it off with a run of my own...

  7. @Ryan_O Thanks Ry. Yes, things are looking pretty well.

    @Gauss_Jordan Thanks. When's your first half marathon / marathon?

  8. @Nik: Next January / Feb. The 3M Half-Marathon in Austin is supposedly one of the fastest half-marathons in the US, since the course is nearly 100% downhill. :-)

  9. @Gauss Jordan. Have you registered for that run? I don't know about the weather but it being so early in the year might mean bad weather for training the two months before it.