Thank heavens we made it!
Paul, my eldest brother took an early lead as we expected and Steven, my younger brother, managed to keep up with him for the first 8miles. I lost them both right at the start and quite sensibly ran my own race.
Years ago I ran a half marathon with no training and managed a time of 2hrs 15mins and so I set myself this goal for the St Albans event. My training has not been good and I have struggled the last 3 times that I have been out for a run. I wasn't sure how I'd go but felt determined although a tad apprehensive, especially since my trainers have not been the best and I get cramp since I have been wearing them.
It was a very scenic run through beautiful country lanes with pretty old English houses. The people were incredibly friendly and the crowds clapped and cheers all the way around the route. Some came out with sprinklers while others had their children out filling up cups of water as we ran by. Over 2000 people entered this event and so credit has to go to the people of St Albans for making the event even better than it was.
The route was tough as there was a number of hills with long, gradual inclines and it was a hot, sunny day which meant it was important to keep the water intake up. Throughout the race there were moments that I felt great which, thankfully, gave me a boost of confidence but soon my right foot started to cramp up again and I could feel my leg straining. "Keep going!" I told myself, "One foot in front of the other."
I wondered if I'd catch my brothers, little did I know that Steven was struggling too and was suffering from the heat. It was his competitive nature that kept him ahead of me and Paul's desire to beat Steven's previous time that drove him over the line ahead of both of us. All in all it was a tough event and I hope to improve on my fitness.
I'm down to the last week of my trip now. This time next week I'll be almost back in NZ. I have had the most amazing time with friends and family and I didn't realise how much I miss them. It is going to be hard saying good bye...alas I must.