The Windsor Half September 30, 2018

This fantastic race had around 4300 finishers and 4275 of them including Chris Evans finished ahead of me. It was like Pacman with a sweep car.  In slo-mo.

I took this pic at the same time as my 50k one as I knew there wouldn't be time between races to arse around with social media. This is the carpet at The Oakley Court, what a beautiful place.  Here's another one of the OC, just to put the fabulousness of where we are staying into perspective.

Oh yes we did.

The location meant a teeny 15 minute drive to the race start. The OC is right beside the Thames (very beautiful) so we had to check out then walk to the car in the traditional bone chilling early morning fog it produces.

Being Britain we parked in a field just like yesterday.  I feel like I spent a lot of time parking in fields during my childhood for various events.  Not for running back then though.

Kev is sent over to check things out as I am too cold to leave the car.  It is clear this is a big event, so many runners arriving with families, dogs and signs in tow.  We can hear all the announcements from the car and it feels like school sports day.

I start at the very back of the corrals (pens) and there is still a long line of cars pulling into the venue as I approach the start line - yikes.  The first stretch is 1 mile up the Long Walk toward the George III statue.  It never seems to get bigger.  Windsor Castle is directly behind us.

This is where I realize my legs simply aren't functioning.  The first noticeable hill nearly kills me.  It's like I literally just finished the 50k and am attempting to complete another 21k leg on the end of it. I thought a night of recovery would help more than it did.  So, I'm walking a Half.

We turn a corner and head into the lovely green park.  The first small loop of around 4 miles takes us back past the statue so we can head onto the second longer loop.  At this point I know I'm already very close to the back and I do not want to be doing this. That's only 8km, there's another 13 left, oh hell.  F this S so hard.

A momentary burst of speed captured for posterity

I catch up with around 7 people who are also walking so we head into loop 2 together, then we pass a water station and promptly take a wrong turn.  There's nothing like adding distance to an already torturous physical experience.

It's getting cloudier and cooler now as we turn onto a very long straight section, it feels a bit like the race is over as there's just our little group making our way.  As we turn, the next mile is over private road not normally open to the public.  It's very lovely.

The 9 mile water stop is fantastic, so much enthusiasm.  Only 4 miles to go.  I work hard to run a little downhill, ignoring the pain emanating from my feet.  Then at 10 miles having got ahead of the group I turn right following a large arrow.  Imagine my surprise when a car pulls up behind me to let me know I have gone the wrong way (again).  More bonus distance.  Remaining vestiges of hope = crushed.

I spend the next stretch hobbling as fast as I can to catch up with other humans.  A DFL is more than I can handle today.

There are statues throughout the park, finally I look up from my shuffling feet long enough to get a picture of one.  This is the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee statue.  I was hoping actual Liz might pop by on her horse so I could catch a lift but sadly no.

Can I go left this time?  Yes I can.  1 mile to go, the finish is that tiny white blob in the middle distance down the endless Kubrikian road.

What the hell is she doing Reginald?  I have no idea Constance, eat the grass.

Kev is in the finish chute so I am able to advise him that we need to procure hot dogs RIGHT NOW.  Eventually I reach the finish line and my arrival is announced by a guy that sounds just like Alan Partridge (to me anyway).  AHA!  22 kms done.  Half 35 in the books.

The hot dog is enormous and just about the best thing I ever put in my face.  Walking to the car after it is fresh hell.  The medal was worth it.  Time to drive to London for Soft Cell at the O2!


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