Run Forest Run

On Sunday 10th December Dan and I ran our first (and possibly last…) half marathon! We had put in some good effort training for the run, but had fallen ill at the last hurdle. We suffered various illnesses throughout November, so training took a real hit.

Still, we were determined to try our best and so, set ourselves some challenging goals! Dan was aiming to complete the 22km in under / around 2 hours and I was aiming for 2 hours 15 minutes. Despite the lack of training and reasonably challenging weather, we smashed it! Dan came in at 1 hour 51 minutes and I finished in 2 hours 5 minutes. In fact, my finishing time had glorious symmetry about it; I was running with the number 3223 and I finished with a time of 2.05.02!

The actual run was challenging because of the number of people running and weather. The final 5km in particular was punishing! The wind was strong and cold and the rain started. After 16km, the last thing we needed was that wind! It broke many experienced runners and so the final 5km saw a great deal of walking. Dan and I managed to keep up the run, although the pace had dramatically fallen! Still, we were happy we didn’t slow to a walk, as I am pretty sure at that stage I wouldn’t have been able to start again…

The final few minutes took us uphill, into a sports stadium. Just what you need at the end of 21km, a hill! Still, the rest of the race was flat and the course took us on journey through the streets of Hagi and the old town. I confess I paid little attention to much of it, as on the whole it was about focusing through the pain and making sure I didn’t step on anyone’s heels! Once the marathon was complete, we took a tourist train home, which stopped off at a local station where we could sample free Sake! It was surreal but nonetheless a great way to conclude the day. On arriving home, we took a quick pit stop in Mr Max (big store that sells everything) and sampled a massage chair for 15 minutes…perfect (ish).

We are very proud to have completed the half marathon. It was a challenge we set ourselves this summer, before we started any running and found 2km difficult. Hopefully this pride in our achievement will get us through the agony of the next few days…as I write this I am unable to walk / stand / sit / move very well at all…

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