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…