I had been led to believe that the weather would be good on Sunday. The five day forecast had said so and also there was all that talk of the “last weekend of summer.” However, when I got up on Sunday, it was distinctly grey. When I actually got to the runners’ area it was properly raining and I wished that I was one of the sensible people who had a binbag.
The start was organised in two waves. It will surprise no-one to know that I was in the second wave, which started half an hour after the first one. This was actually just as well, because the queue for the bagdrop was fairly long and the queue for the toilets were ridiculously long. I overheard some first wavers complaining that they’d missed their start because of the queues. I didn’t make it to my pen and just had to join the end of the people walking to the start. To be fair, this meant that I started at the back, which was where I’d have been if I’d been in my pen.
The first five miles went out of Bristol along the Avon gorge and then the next five miles came back the same way. For this bit the waved start was good for me psychologically because I could tell myself that all the people running in the opposite direction had had a head start! Once I passed five miles and was going the other way, it felt like I was going in the right direction. The last three miles was around Bristol centre and so there were more people supporting at that point. This was good because I really felt the last three miles. I didn’t walk any of it, which I was pleased with, but during the last bit I was jogging at the same speed as the walkers.
It didn’t rain the whole way, but it was pretty rainy for a lot of the time. This probably wasn’t a terrible thing. Both Fiona and Sinead will attest that the half marathon in Brighton in February was in horrible weather and that was my best half marathon time to date. I had been pretty worried about the expected hot weather beforehand. The rain obviously helped, because I finished in less than a minute over my Brighton time and I was pleased with that.
Bristol was my third half this year and my fourth in total. Rather alliteratively, all of the halves this year have begun with B. I have completed Brighton, Berlin, Bristol and in October I am going to have a go at Birmingham. I might try and have a go at beating my Brighton time in Birmingham, but for me to do that it might just have to rain.