The Great South Run – Race Recap

My RunMND family has been taking part in this race for many years, and I remember watching it on the TV  looking for them, and it looked lovely, so a few months ago, I looked at booking it. I remember thinking it was expensive for a 10 mile race and kept putting it off. Then someone shared a competition to win a place, so I stuck my name in, and I was lucky enough to win a place, so thank you SimplyHealth and GreatRun.

By the time I found out I was running it, a lot of the hotels in the surrounding area were already full or were asking £200+ for one night, so I didn’t book accommodation. I then fell ill, and to be honest didn’t really think about the race and the logistics of it all. I didn’t even know if I would make the start line.

Whilst being below par, my husband took charge and booked a camper van for a couple of days, so we booked a camp site just outside Fareham! Just to make this clear, I am not a fan of camping, yet it seems to keep happening! hehe The first night (well and second) I hardly slept at all, but this seems to be a tradition pre race now, as that’s what happened at my last race, read here!! (I DO NOT recommend it ZZZzzzz)

Date: Sunday 21st October 2018

Time: I was in the white wave which started at 10:52, although I got to the start for 9am!

Weather: Bright sunshine, with a light breeze, although when running it felt quite hot. I even laughed at supporters wearing jumpers and coats, yet the moment I stopped running, I needed my jumper!

Course: The one thing I remember of the course, is that it’s flat, and congested in places. We started in Southsea and ran through the docklands, which although it had a cobbled road, was actually really nice. I can’t remember much about the rest of the course. There were some section, where there were faster runners on the other side of the road to watch, which I love. We passed the finish area around mile 6 I think, and then I remember the 2 mile long stretch at the end along the sea. I love running by the sea, I just wished I had worn my sun glasses, as the sun was so bright and low, that it gave me a bit of a headache squinting all the way to the finish line. If you want a PB on this course, you would need to be at the start of your wave, as it was congested in places, especially when the road narrowed. There were a few bands and singers on the course, which always gives you a boost. Water stations were pretty frequent after 3 miles too.

My race: I have said previously, I have not been too well, so training has been a bit hit or miss. The last time that I ran 10 miles, was back in July! I knew I could cover the distance, but I just knew that I may have had to walk sections and I wouldn’t be able to run at any kind of fast pace. I wasn’t bothered about this, I just wanted to go and be part of TeamMND and enjoy running in an event.

I was so lucky to start with Sarah and Ness, events are always so much more fun with people. I actually stayed with Sarah for the entire run. The race started as every race does; with me frantically checking my pace, trying to avoid going off too fast. Also, having that feeling of how is it possible that I have forgotten how to run, why is this so hard?

Even with the checking of pace, I still managed to go off too fast! Around mile 2, myself and Sarah managed to get caught on the tv! We just kept telling each other that we would be fine as soon as we got to mile 3, and to be honest this must have been the case, as I don’t remember much of mile 2 to 4, and I only remember mile 4, as I decided to instastory, and kind of forgot about the people in front of me and nearly ended on my backside. The video is highly amusing!

Around mile 6, I was a caught by one of my club mates Dem, and that gave me a boost. I could feel my pace was slowing, but I really didn’t mind as this race was not about a time, and it was really quite warm. I picked up water around mile 8 and decided to walk whilst drinking. It was the best decision, as after my walk break and walk, I felt so much better.

 

The last two miles along the sea front feel more like three miles! We were lucky that the weather was nice, as I have heard in the past, the wind can be bad, but we only had to contend with really bright sun in our eyes. This helped me just put my head down and concentrate in finishing strong. I finished in 1:42:53, not a great time, but also not bad.

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So exciting to be able to take part in #medalmonday . I haven’t taken part in many events this year, but thanks to @simplyhealthuk I won a place in the Great South Run, and I’m so glad I did! What a lovely race. . I am not fit at the moment so my aim was to enjoy being part of @run.mnd see friends, make new ones and complete the race. I was lucky to finally meet @mrsbrems and run the entire race with her. She definitely made it 100% more enjoyable – thank you! . I loved seeing my club mate @demorefice on the course too. . Where did you run this weekend? I hope it was a good one 🏃🏼‍♀️ . . . #greatsouthrun #simplyhealth #gsr #greatrun #runnersofinstagram #instarunners #igrunners #runmummyrun #ukrunners #ukrunchat

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Lesson learned: Sometimes you just have to put yourself on the start line, and enjoy the event!

Pros:

  • Free entry – who doesn’t love a free race – running is not a free sport!
  • Well organised, flat course. I was lucky that MNDA had a tent at the event, so I didn’t use the bag drop, and when the toilet queue was HUGE, we had a local (thanks Ness) who found some toilets that had a queue of about 3 people! Bonus!
  • Meeting new people. #TeamMND #RunMND include some of the most amazing people, and each race I get to meet more.
  • Linked to the above, running the entire race with Sarah!

Cons:

  • The last 2 miles feeling like 3 hehehe
  • As I said above, it is a congested course in places, so if you wanted a PB start at the front of your wave.
  • Hotels are expensive in Portsmouth, especially as it is half term too, but to be honest that’s the same for all the places that hold big races.

I have to finish this post with massive shout to RunMND. Phil Rossall used to be a keen runner, but now has MND and is wheelchair bound, and some of the amazing group pushed Phil around the course, so that he could take part in the event for potentially the last time. MND is a devastating disease that I don’t think you ever appreciate this fully, until you are affected by it, and some of the AWESOME people in the RunMND do everything they can to help make life that little bit ‘normal’ and special for those living with this disease. I am not going to name them, as I worry that I may miss someone, but I hope they know I am writing this about them. They are very special people who I am proud to call my friends.

Happy running all x

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