Tewkesbury Half Marathon was my first half, and being local it made sense to run it again. Obviously I haven’t participated in another to compare, but I felt there was a lot of support most of the way round last time, I knew the roads, and for race purposes is flat.
In interests of honesty I will say that last year the organisers offered me a discount code to take part but I tore my calf muscle in the February, resulting in me only taking photographs of the runners. When I cheekily approached them for a code this year I was delighted to be given a place.
Differences between my First attempt at Tewkesbury Half Marathon and the Second
The difference between my first half marathon and second are massive. For start off I never had the intention to run it all on my first one. I had previously taken part in a six mile run for Sport Relief (which followed my 6 mile walk as Mr Blobby) so figured I may run 6 miles and then walk. I was doing it to raise funds for local The Roses Theatre – who have been great to work with. I trained for months adding on distance each week, with every fourth week having a break. I was not what I would consider a runner at all. Then not long before the race I developed plantar fasciitis and was in agony even on the morning of that first Tewkesbury Half Marathon.
Fast forward two years and I guess I am what I would consider a runner. I go to running club most Tuesdays and Parkrun most Saturdays – even having the odd extra run with people from club, my family or a race. But I was not prepared. With the children being home educated finding time to cross-train and go for long runs just wasn’t happening. I tried near the end to add in extra runs, but it wasn’t a lot. I had gone for a 15 mile run with friends, entered a 20 mile race and did 13.1 miles in a day a few weeks before the race.
The other big difference between now and then is my footwear. Previously I was sent a pair of Asics Gel-DS Trainer 22 Women’s Running Shoes – with Rearfoot GEL cushioning, Ortholite sockliner, a full length Flytefoam midsole – cushioning every step and providing a bouncing response; a propulsion Trusstic system and a wet grip rubber forefoot outsole – 2 weeks before the race: In comparison this time I wore my trusty Vivobarefoot trail runners (I had previously been gifted a similar pair which I loved so bought a pair) that were absolutely falling to bits!!! Interestingly I couldn’t wait to get my trainers off last time, but this time I was fine.
Too much information I am sure but this time I also have developed a rather nasty (and massive) haemorrhoid which can suddenly become really painful when I run. Previously my weight was perfect for my BMI but now I am overweight so running is good for me (well obviously) but it does aggravate the situation. Also I happened to have my monthlies whilst running – this apparently means I needed to take in more calories and water. What it actually meant was I really noticed the fact that there are no toilets on the route. In fact I braved the portaloos before the race and wish I hadn’t! The guy who used it before me apologised but it just didn’t flush and everyone’s waste was just piling up. I really wanted to change my sanitary-wear but there was no way of doing so. Someone said it was only for a couple of hours but I suffer really heavily, in fact I am surprised I didn’t end up in a really embarrassing situation.
Tewkesbury Half Marathon 2019
Tewkesbury Half Marathon 2019 was very well organised and supported. I am really proud to live locally to this race. Not only did the organisers do a fantastic job but the volunteers were fantastic too. Not forgetting all those who came out to support runners (some even provided extra water, as well as all those with sweets!) – and the big crowds waiting on the high street, even though it was well over an hour since the first runner had crossed the line (very well done to Phil Beastall). But also this year there was more support for the back runners – with the finish still being in place with music when they came through.
Communication was good on social media with Tewkesbury Half being active on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook; whilst is great that there is a Facebook page and group – having the two was a little confusing and lots of people still do not use Facebook. Correspondence by e-mail was a little sparse at times, or late coming and people started to worry that they had missed something. If you are on social media there were people who did know and could answer your questions.
The change of Tewkesbury Half Route from 2017 was fantastic as now it finishes on the high street – a nice long straight where you can see the end in sight. Last time I didn’t quite realise how far 0.1 of a mile actually is and I had already started feeling ill at mile 12, and just struggled around the corner to Lower Lode. The new finish (which was new last year) also meant it was much easier for people to come and cheer and find runners at the end.
Tewkesbury Half Marathon gave me free entry into their race, thoughts and opinions are honest and my own.