This one we have been looking forward to all year! Mainly because we get to stay with our family the night before and at the end Mum and Dad and our Brother and the whole family will be supporting us. This Half is also the most beautiful as you run up and down the coast and the piers at Boscombe and Bournemouth.
Bournemouth half starts at 8am! Easily the earliest we have had to get out of bed for a run all year. Running with us this year was Martin Gay and our cousin Louise. Martin was looking do go under an 2 hours and as this was really a training run for our marathon we decided it would be fun to run it around 9 minuet mile pace and try and get him a PB.
We arrived a bit late and it was a rush to the start line near to Bournemouth football club with only a few mins to spare. The gun went and we set off though the nearby neighborhood out towards the coast. It was a really lovely bright morning perfect weather for a run and we were enjoying our steady pace not pushing it just running a nice steady pace. As we reached mile 2 we turned onto the coastal road looking down over the sea it was a beautiful sight. The course took us down the road for mile and a half made a U-turn on the way back we shouted some encouragement at Louise she looked strong! We got to mile 5 and the end of the coastal road and we dropped down onto the promenade beside the beach. When I ran this half last year this was my favorite part of the course the 3 stretch along the sea really is amazing crowds cheering us on with the sea air blowing in our faces really is amazing. We had quicken up a bit and we where do around 8:45 to 9 min pace so we were well within our 2 hr goal but we had to keep it up.
Just after mile 8 there is a big hill the only one on the course! We all dug deep to get up it and James stuck with Martin and as I powered up it and slowed down and waited for them at the top. With that out of the way it was a mile run across another costal path down towards Bournemouth pier. At about mile 9.5 we ran down a steep hill toward the pier where Mum and Dad where waving and shouting us on! Then began the run up to Boscombe pier and back! You can see the pier when you drop down on to the beach promenade and it doesn’t look like over a mile to it!
I was feeling I little bit stronger than James and Martin so I pulled away a bit and went for it. One of the brilliant parts of this half is running up and down the piers the Boscombe one seems a little shorter and the wooden planks make you feel like you are bouncing along. Coming off the pier it was 2 miles to go so I put my head down and went for it. I could see the crowd up ahead on Bournemouth pier and I knew that the whole family where waiting for us at the finish. I broke into a sprint up and down the pier and finished strong.! As I passed the line I could see Dad snapping photos and as I had just recovered I turned to see James finishing with Martin very close behind. What a great run a we had done it Martin smashed his PB by well over 2 minutes Job done! Louise came in about 20 min later in a brilliant time!
We met all the family and all chatted about a brilliant morning and headed off to Martyn’s house for a huge fry well-earned and well deserved.