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Weymouth Half Marathon

We have a guest report for Weymouth half marathon, fresh from her PB Paricia Spodzieja provides her race experience!

Although I was never a runner who runs to race, I must confess the CC6 season has given me a taste for it (alongside comments of encouragement from fellow members: why do all this training if you don’t race?).

So the aim for 2022 was to do a race of every distance, 5 Miles, 10km, 10Miles and a Half Marathon (and definitely no more than that! least in 2022) So I gave the choosing a Half Marathon event some thought, to encourage me to do the distance I wanted to do either an interesting trail route, scenic country side or a seaside race, surely that would mean it’s by a pier and therefore flat? Thanks to the events page Brian got me interested in Weymouth and assuming some more TRC members could be talked into it I signed up for it. (Thanks Andy for coming on board and Dot also being persuaded last minute!)

Spending the weeks prior doing the distance I felt confident that I would at least get around and in sleepless nights the week heading up to the event I dared to dream up some wishful target times….

Despite just 4 hours sleep thanks to a last minute gig the day before I was determined to still enjoy the day and the start time of 8am meant we had to leave Totton ridiculously early (6am on the dot for Dot, Andy, and I). On the plus side at that time there was no traffic and we got to Weymouth in good time to find a random car park (always a good sign when you see other runners using the same car park!) and headed to the Pavilion where we tried to escape the chilly wind, do last minute toilet runs and drop off bags (which was incredibly well organised!)

Outside we managed to locate the other TRC team, Ian who was layered up to the max to keep off the wind, David who decided to try out his flashy new trainers on a Half Marathon ?! and Brian who looked rather cheerful and up for it and thanks to his daughter we managed some good team photos!

So we hurtled to the start line which I somehow missed thinking we were just jogging up to it when my pacer Andy said, good time, stick with it and we had already done half a Mile!

Running in the beautiful morning sunshine, taking in the fresh sea air and the splendid views I did think it was well worth it and the first 3 Miles out against the wind, then back towards Weymouth with wind behind you just flew by, I was on such a high I might have gone off too fast!

The next section took us through a little Park (apparently the location for a Park Run!) where the runner in front of me took a spectacular fall, but simply picked himself up and carried on which another runner complimented him on (great team spirit amongst runners). Coming out of the park we went out again towards the seafront, the advantage of an out and back route is you run past your team members and can give each other an encouraging nod & wave!

As we then returned back into Weymouth a thought crossed my mind, so far this has been far too easy……Confirmed by 3 things:

The Half way sign (oh no, all of that again and I am getting tired)

The town clock (you have only run 50min so far so at least another 1h ahead of you)

Tony Kendrick mentioning “save some energy for the hill up to the fort”

Trying to keep calm and carry on the course took us through the town Center (very pretty, tried to take in shops, make a mental note of where the pubs & restaurants are) and then came the climb!

Approaching the fort was not too bad as some incline was to be expected however it turned out to be more then one, up then down, round the bend and then up we went when some runners ahead of me gave up and started to walk up the hill around Mile 8?……The voice of Mike Mills in my head said “tiny steps, just keep going” Helen’s voice said “it’s a race not a run” and my own voice apart from lots of cursing and swearing said “whatever you do don’t stop and undo all the good work so far”.

After the climb came a long gentle downhill however runners coming back up on the other side meant one of two things…..either we have to come up again or those are the runners behind you approaching the hills and in a moment reminiscent of Badger Farm “what goes down must come up” we surely had to do the whole stretch in reverse again!

The encouragement came when Brian crept into my view and also the Mile 10 sign, the furthest I had run continuously without stopping / walking. With only 3 Miles to go we crossed a wobbly bridge and Andy breezing past me with a “you got this” we did a nice decline back into Weymouth.

Heading back through the town center surely meant we were nearly there and when the Marshall said “just up to the road and to the finish line” I was very relieved! So the three blue Totton Lions Brian, Andy and I went past the 500m to go sign which Andy had pointed out at the beginning of the day and announced “this is from where you have to sprint to the end” heading towards the big blue finish Arch……

And this is where the last meters turned out to be the hardest, due to some evil trickery the race organizers had decided to make you run past the sign, round a round about and enter finish line from behind (yes I am aware it’s a cheap joke!)

This is were yet again a kind fellow runner got me though the worst, the Romsey runner kept breezing past me but looking over his should and giving me the “come on come on” wave signal to keep going until the very end!

Picking up the dinosaur medal felt absolutely incredible, and as I had run the course “blind” I was thrilled to have made a time I never could have dreamt of!

Lots of happy photos, Romsey runner said “see you at the CC6 then” and cheering in the other runners completed an amazing day!

Would I recommend it? Definitely yes, would I do it again? Most likely and hopefully with a whole bunch more of you, maybe we could even hire a coach to take the Club there and back (means we can sleep on the way there and have a few cheeky cheers beers on the way back 😊

What a great report and great running from TRC with two PBs on the day for Patricia and Ian Dodkin who took a 4minutes off his previous PB! Well done all!

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