Edinburgh Half Marathon 2011

So guys... I'M OFFICIALLY A HALF MARATHONER!!! Woot woot woot! I finished overall in a time of 2.10.48, which I'm plenty pleased about and I really enjoyed myself too :)

Firstly, like a complete diddy I forgot my gels in Glasgow and arrived in Edinburgh too late to buy any. I had started panicking but I just calmed and reminded myself that I had trained, I could run without and all runners really need is shoes and their number. On the course it actually didn't matter- a lovely girl gave me some Lucozade running carbohydrate beans. I really wish I could thank her, and also 3 others I met on the course that really encouraged me- one guy who coaches for Jog Scotland, finished right beside me and was great to chat to, a physio I met who kept saying 'Just keep going', a guy in a bright red tee who asked if I needed someone to run with for a bit (I did!) and that young lady who gave me some fuel. THANK YOU ALL.

The course is very flat, with the odd tiny hill and one short sharp one at about mile 2 but nothing at all major. Up till mile 6 and the 10K timing mat I felt fantastic and was in fact likely running a little too fast for the full half. We'll see what 10K time was recorded tomorrow when the full results are published! I was repeating my Paula mantra in my head, 'I am strong, I have trained, I can do this'. I think up till 6 no music also really helped me focus on my body. Around 10 my knee felt really funny and I ended up stopping for a couple of minutes and walking to roll it out. Overall, in the last few miles it was never my breathing stopping me and always more my knee or calves! I could have used music here to push for it.
The double back was really quite hard, as the overall double is about 3 plus miles so the people you see coming the other way are finishing an easy half hour before you! I saw my friend Cal here, who was so tired heading to the finish that he didn't even managed to shout my name ha ha. He beasted a 1.42 so he had the right to be knackered. He doesn't even run as a sport, although he plays a lot of tennis, swims and plays football so is generally quite fit.

The finish is perhaps a little bit depressing as the spectators aren't allowed there, so its just runners. Overall there was a lack of spectators on the course, except for the last 3 miles which had tons of people including a cheer squad. Great race pack though- dark blue TECHNICAL tee (yay!), Nature Valley Bars, Lucozade Protein bars (I ate this but I actually hate them- they do taste like mashed up protein), the classic banana, great medal, free gum and mints, ice packs for legs, fat and sugar free jelly beans, loads of race applications, body wash and a few other things I can't remember.

Afterwards I headed back to my brothers via the buses for runners and had a shower then met Cal to eat EVERYTHING ha ha. We had fish and chips, which was amahzing! This evening I have chafing on my inside thighs, despite serious glide application pre race but otherwise I feel good! I think I will swim tomorrow to ease up the muscles.My friend S ran the full and got a brilliant 3.53 on his first ever marathon! I'm very impressed at us all.

Good Things

+ Starting corrals really wide, excellently market and brilliantly policed
+ Plenty of toilets at beginning, en route and at the end with few queues
+ Great course- really flat and fast and gorgeous down by the waterfront
+ Plenty of water stations and a Lucozade one
+ Good race pack, medal and (thank god) a technical tee
+ Overall excellent marshalling, organisation etc including buses back to the city
+ Great runners on the course- friendly, inclusive and helpful

Bad Things

- Not many spectators- although this isn't a fault of the organisers given its a Sunday and most spectators only show for the full marathon experience!
- No gel stations, which you'd think could be possible as Lucozade were sponsors
- The queue for the buses was immense, although fast moving but at that point it had started raining so...
- They could do with putting a rain sheet or heat sheets in the race pack just in case- I was frozen (two lovely gents provided me with a black bin bag to pierce holes in and wear)
- Buses really quite far away, good 20 minutes on half marathon legs

I really enjoyed my first half, and I will definitely be doing another. I reckon thats the most important thing to have taken away from it all!


    I like your pros and cons. I cant believe they didnt have any gel stations for you (now that I think about it, my half didnt have any either!!).

    The goodies in your race pack sound really good! I love when they give you extra things at the finish.
    Can't wait to hear what you sign up for next!

    1. I'm running this again this year and rumour has it there are gels so that should go down a lot better :)!