This overcast gloomy morning, I travelled up to Hever Castle for a half-marathon with a start time allowing for a bit more kip than normal (10:30). Accompanying me was friend Amelie Jones, and on arrival we met up with Alice Saunders and Emily Manners who were racing it as well to make up the Harriers contingent for the day (to my knowledge, at least for this one)
The course was two 10.5k laps, travelling along a mixture of uneven trail and road (a grassy incline which curved side to side before 7km and a dunorlan park-esque hill between 9 and 10k were particularly unforgiving to do once, let alone twice). Mercifully, the rain held itself for after the race. It was a beautiful route all things considered, particularly the fountain in Hever gardens and the lake.
Alice stayed with me for the majority of the first lap, eventually overtaking, with Emily and Amelie not far behind us. I decided to help Amelie’s morale by waiting for her at the halfway mark so we could do the second section together, but unbeknownst to me, Amelie had to drop out after the first lap with a mixture of fatigue and ankle difficulty which would’ve been made much worse by a second lap.
After waiting for a while with no response to my calls, and with the marshalls telling me no injuries had been called over the radio, I decided to press on in the hope she was ok, and was put at ease by a response from her around 16k explaining all.
Alice and Emily in the meantime did themselves proud, claiming podium positions of 1st lady and 3rd lady respectively (1:46:52, 1:54:02) . I ultimately settled with a reasonable 2:08:31, and despite the earlier misfortune it was a great time together.