Friday, 10 April 2015

Hampton Court Palace Half Marathon Recap

WOW, sorry to take so long for this but I've been waiting and waiting and waiting (along with the other 3000 odd runners) for the official pictures to be put up.  Well they went up, then down then up then down then you couldn't access the site at all then they were partially up and finally seem to be up … with a loophole where I seem to have downloaded low res images without watermarks.  Their own fault if you ask me!

Any ways …. the race was Sunday 29 March 2015 and this is the day when UK clocks "spring forwards".  When I realised that I had to get up at 5:30am and it would actually still be 4:30am for my body and brain I nearly had a heart attack, YEIKS …. I have not been up that early in YONKS.
SO early in fact, the train was practically empty!

The weather prediction was for misery sorry, I mean wet and windy all week so I gave my boys a pink ticket as spectating in that would be more miserable than running in it and let me tell you in no uncertain terms, running in that weather was
THE.SINGLE.MOST.MISERABLE.TIME.OF.MY.ENTIRE LIFE.
There, I said it, it was CRAP!
When I saw what the weather was going to be like I knew I would struggle but hells-bells I didn't realise how much I would struggle.

  • The start was annoying because supporters were mingling in with the runners in the runner area and no corrals/start pens for estimated times either.
  • Strava would not connect for love nor money so I used mapmyrun because I had thought "leave the Garmin behind" …. will NOT be doing THAT again!
  • Running down the Thames path was fabby-dabby-do, I got into a rhythm easily and felt comfortable, the drizzle had eased and there was no wind "what was the BBC weather going on about" I thought??
  • ….. then we turned a corner and got SLAPED in the face by a 20mph wind that kept at us from every which way but from behind us until we looped back down onto the Thames path again!
  • AGH I swore in my head, I swore at the wind I pleaded for someone to turn the bladdy wind machine off, I even swore out loud and I don't think anyone even heard me.
  • Goal A was left at home, Goal B was actually still within my grasp until the last 3 relentless miles of wind and I settled for GOAL C which is still a blinking' miracle if you ask me!
(02:28:45 in case its difficult to read)

Best part was Henry VIII making an appearance high 5'ing runners as we passed, my picture looks ODD because the picture was taken AFTER I had high 5'ed the dude … DOH!

To be fair, this was the first running of a half at the palace, organisation was OK but there are things like the start spectators, the finish area (again spectators and lack of direction or easily identifiable channel out to collect goodies or bags).  They have asked for feedback which many, including myself, have given.  The worst bit was the unidentifiable photographers and then the shambles at getting the pictures up! So without further ado …. some pictures.
the bling is AWESOME, not many have Henry VIII dangling off their coat hangers ;-)
So, there I went.  Would I do it again?
I don't know but I have entered the ballot so we will see …. I mean what are the odds of the weather bing THAT crap again?
Do I regret doing it? 
… No, I never regret a run but if I ever see weather conditions like that again for a race I will contemplate a DNS for sure, it just sucked out everything I had in me!
Lets hope the organisers take on board ALL feedback, it was pretty much the same "complaints" that we had.

Now its your turn … make me feel like a wuss, 
What is the worst weather you have run a race in?

Laraxx