Let me just start off by saying this was not a half marathon, this was a fell run that just happened to be 13.1 miles. And I can confirm I am NOT a fell runner – I’m hardly a road runner!
This was a very quiet weekend compared to our normal visits up north. Saturday was the perfect pre run day, I got to chill out and spend it with Laura and the two gorgeous Earl boys Alfie & Arlo. And by chill out I mean attempt to go to the park but the boys fell asleep, come home to ice cakes that Alfie was not interested in, eat dinner and have a whole cup of milk spilt over me and Arlo, have a very interesting bath time with a slight mental breakdown on Alfie’s side & a very painful bedtime – but it was a great day!
Sunday morning came around very quickly, we set off late as usual for our family but got there with plenty of time and we arrive… to ridiculous winds. All the runners in shorts had thick jackets on, numbers were blowing everywhere & goosebumps were guaranteed to be on everyone.
I had an amazing surprise of my Aunty Helen & Uncle David turning up to run the race meaning my support system was even bigger. And little did I know how much I would need them towards the end.
To say that run was hard is an understatement, it was harder than my 3rd race (keswick) but it was a completely different level of hard. Even though Keswick was steep hills, it was all road running which is the terrain I am used to, Hadrians wall was road…for about 3 miles.
^ 2 miles in 😱
The route then took you into the fells where you would be running through grass, mud, water with stepping stones to get across & all different kinds of animal poo (I don’t even want to know how much sheep poo I actually stood in). They had us climbing over walls, running up hill most of the way, over stones that were more like small boulders that were MAJOR trip hazzards. I’ve been on a lot of fell/mountain walks with the family but never have I done a 13 mile run through one and it was an experience to say the least.
The one thing I love about the runs is how kind the running community is, up the first hill a couple (who held hands up every hill which was just the cutest) offered me some water as the sun was really strong. Around mile 9 a lady offered me a gel as I was saying I was hungry (of course). A jeep then went past and the man told me I could take a bottle of water from the back so I was well looked after and it makes me feel proud I can be part of that community.
Aunty Lynda came to meet me around mile 11 and she was expecting the worst, everyone was finishing about half an hour past their PB and with me not being the strongest runner I could have been in a state. But I was (half) smiling, running along and I saw her and thought ‘thank god, it’s nearly over’. There was a slight climb to mile 12 but waiting for me at the top of the hill was the whole crew and it was amazing.
We all ran the last mile together with everyone saying how amazing I’d done to make it because there were people dropping out and this was not the sort of run I am used to. I had Alfie shouting ‘come on Becki’, Lynda saying how amazing I was looking, Dad surprisingly being complimentary saying I was doing well and Helen being the best PT reminding me ‘just look at the floor and put 1 foot in front of the other’. I seriously have the most incredible & supporting family and I couldn’t do any of this without them.
I’m not going to say my time, because it was terrible, but looking back at the run I don’t regret any of it, I ran where I could, I’ve never ran on uneven ground and I am proud to have finished this race.
Another great weekend up north. Southend is in 2 weeks which will mark half way!
Goodbye for now 👋🏻