The Acre Foundation

Half Marathon #1

Posted on 27 July 2012 by Lydia

Half Marathon #1

The first of my three half marathons of 2012 came around very quickly, but with all the training runs I’ve put in, I felt that I was as prepared as I was ever going to be.

Training had been going well and I had even started treating myself to a sports massage to make sure my muscles and an old knee injury were not going to become detrimental to my War Child promise.

With the British Summer having been so wet, most of my training had been in the rain, so I was prepared for a wet and muddy tow path run from Slough to Marlow. Instead the weather turned to glorious sun and the day of the race reached 26C. This was to be my nemesis. Although I love the sun in every possible form, I didn’t realise how tough it was to run 13.1 miles in this heat – especially as there was very little shade en-route.

At the start I was keen to get underway (probably so I could get to the finish line sooner rather than later) and I set off at my usual pace. The first few miles felt great – running across fields and in open space in the glorious sun, however it soon started to take its toll and I started to really feel the heat take hold. It was a long struggle to the finish, across many miles of tow path, through Maidenhead and across fields. The scenery was glorious in this beautiful part of England, which helped a little to keep me going. There were also a few spectators in places along the route cheering, but it wasn’t until the last 200m when the supporters were out in force cheering on the runners to the finish line – and what a difference that makes. Knowing that your support team (in my case, my father) is only a short distance away and that the finish line is fast approaching are two excellent reasons to dig deep and sprint the finish.

My official time was 2:01hrs. I was pleased to have finished the race, especially in the heat for which I wasn’t prepared for, but I was a little disappointed to not get under 2 hours – but there are two other half marathons to better the time, so will keep the training up in order to beat that clock.

Lydia feels the heat Digging deep for War Child Lydia and her support team / Dad

It was a gruelling couple of hours, but knowing about all the great work War Child is doing with many vulnerable children spurred me on. Prominent in my mind were all the news reports coming out of Syria at the moment – where children are being deliberately targeted and horrifically abused. Every minute of these three arduous runs (and training involved) are worth it for the positive difference it makes to these children. Please feel free to sponsor me for the remaining two runs and help War Child provide shelter and support for the world’s forgotten children.