River Thames Running Spring Half Marathon Race Report

When you wake up and discover that ‘Storm Kate’ has hit and there are gales blowing, hail is coming down and its generally miserable its pretty hard to motivate yourself out of bed! I’ve never in my life been so unmotivated to do a run! If there wasn’t bling I wouldn’t have turned up!

But I did! And I sheltered in the car as long as I could before meeting my friend just after 8am. We ventured over under Walton Bridge to find the toilets, they had only put 4 out and there were 4 portaloos on the back of a lorry unused, I can only assume because the wind would blow them over! The toilet queue was horrifically long and eventually I made it through! We then discovered the ‘bag drop’ was ‘just leave the bags in a pile under the bridge’ now they had said it wasn’t secure so I hadn’t left anything valuable in my bag but I kind of thought that was a bit much!

The start was delayed by 15 minutes and eventually we lined up with sub 2 and longer than 2 hours in two different lines and the start was underway. It was freezing and I had a sporty hoodie with me so I had decided to run in it, my friend ran in her bin bag for quite a way too!

Photo by Epic Action Imagery (www.epicactionimagery.com)
Photo by Epic Action Imagery (www.epicactionimagery.com)

The route itself varied in its terrain from road to slick mud and everything in between! I’m the sort of person that runs straight through puddles so I was frequently overtaking tons of runners which I did find quite amusing. I had soggy feet but I didn’t mind, it was only for a couple of hours. We spent some time on the road and then went onto the river before going back to the road and up to nearly Hampton Court where we turned around and started back along the tow path the whole way to Walton Bridge. At this point you run past the finish. I knew this as I’d looked at the map but a few people commented how unfair this was! I don’t disagree. Its horrid running past the finish! We then went down nearly all the way to Weybridge, right down to the tennis club and then back up the main road, crossed the bridge to the other side of the river and then crossed back again before running along the road to the finish where I found the lack of atmosphere sorely disappointing. I’m sure the weather played a part in it but there were people around with minimal cheering, no PA system, no music, nothing! Just someone clipping off your chip and telling you the medal was in a goodie bag under the bridge.

The medal itself was pretty decent, Easter egg shaped and a bottle opener which seems to be ‘the thing’ amongst medals at the moment! The goodie bag was disappointing and I was left feeling underwhelmed. Maybe I’m just too used to huge events! Would I go back? Maybe. It was relatively cheap. I know what to expect next time. If I needed a training run and wanted bling with it then yeah I’d look at doing this.

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