The 24th of April was a special day…..
The day my father and I ran together for the first time in many years. With him living in La Reunion, in the middle of the Indian Ocean, we don’t see each over that often. In fact, the last time we did was 7 years ago! yep, a long time.
My little sister studying in Paris also came to race but was unfortunately injured so had to watch us instead and take the role of race photographer.
Luckily for my father, the sun came out on race day (same day as London Marathon) and it was slightly warm, or cold for him! I appropriately did tell him to man up! so warm ups were high on the agenda ….
Race time …… we positioned ourselves at the start line in time to think (again), what time we were going to aim for. Was originally around 55mins but as my dad had just come back from an injury, we decided to aim for 1h10mins. Even for him, that meant “taking it easy”. Sorry, I forgot to mention he was 70 in November 2015 and this race oldest runner! what a legend!
So off we went …. trotting along, me checking our average pace on my TomTom probably too many times. But I was secretly hopping to pace him to a sub60!
All went well from the start until we reached the Itchen Bridge (400 meters long) at Mile 2 when the uphill was too much for my dad’s post foot injury. This is when he had to walk for a short period to sensibly relieve the pain and not get worst, which annoyed him a bit as he knew he could have run faster than we did.
This bridge being a pain, we of course, had to run across it and do a U-turn as soon as we reached the other side! I think it’s a great idea as the views across the Solent and St-Marys stadium are beautiful, weather permitted but I don’t think my dad was too bothered with them.
Coming off the bridge just after Mile 3, it was pretty much flat all the way to the finish line. Miles 4 and 5 went through some of Southampton industrial docks until we reached SouthamptonFC St-Mary’s stadium where we went through it along the pitch. Great idea from race organisers but as no supporters were allowed in, it was a bit dull. Something for next year’s race maybe. This is where my sister came to see us and took some photos!
Of course, I checked my TomTom a few times, to see if sub60 was a possibility. Nothing is impossible right? 2 Miles to go and we were near target (my target for him!) but it was too much for his foot. Through St-Mary’s road, around the corner to the Premier Inn hotel, then through Southampton City centre parks for the last part of the race where it’s safe to say we clowned around a bit!
This is when, at the top of the park, we turned left, joining the Half Marathon runners for the last 100 meters. Job done! 1h05mins…..top running!
What a day ! What a race ! One I will cherish for the rest of my life !