Monday, 26 March 2012

Brentwood Half Marathon

No, I didn't run it but I wish I did have the endurance to run 13 miles! I could have run the 3 mile fun run but without wishing to sound like a big head, it wouldn't be challenging enough for me so I marshalled whilst my husband had little girl and it was a lot of fun. Although the club are going to repay me by funding my entry to another race of my choice, it felt good to give up my time to do something for the community again.

 I got up bright and early to meet my fellow marshalls at the Brentwood Centre and receive my tabbard and it was really misty and cold. We were given some brief instructions about the day, including advice about dealing with angry motorists which worried about me, I hadn't contemplated the likelihood of and confrontation.

Thankfully for the runners, the weather remained misty and cold for the start of the race at 10am right through until about mid-day where the sun finally burned through the mist and it warmed up. I was posted on the Ongar Road by the A12 at the Warescot Road junction so I was near the end of the race. It meant I had to marshall for longer, but it also meant that the atmosphere was a bit more fun, where most runners seemed happy to hear me say "nearly there!", "not far now" or "final push now, you can do it!". At first I felt a little bit silly, like a broken a record, I felt bad for the spectators standing near me listening to me going on and on but my desire to cheer everyone on was stronger than my ego. Besides, if I annoyed the spectators they can always stand somewhere else! When there was a gap in runners I took a sip of coffee and made a jokey comment about sounding like a broken record to offload a bit of embarrassment but when the runners started to come through thick and fast they got into the spirit of it and joined me in cheering them on! 

The reason I wanted so much to cheer everyone on was because I recently ran a race (not sure whether I blogged it or not...) and having the marshalls cheer me on really brightened it up for me and helped me along. 

After the race I made my merry way home. I had walked to my post because I was unsure about road closures. By then it was really sunny so I popped into the High Street on the way to get a white chocolate ice cream from Rossi's. 

I then went to visit my sister who had run 6 miles for sport relief in Chelmsford. It was her first race and the furthest she had run outside of the gym and I was really proud of her. She agreed that it helps when the marshalls are encouraging. She said that only one pair had been cheering whilst all the rest just stood there watching. 

I think that if I had simply stood there I would have felt much more cold and the time would have really dragged on. I had 4 high fives and a lot of grateful smiles, a lot of people were also shattered as they had just begun the 12th mile and I respected that, everybody responds differently when they challenge their bodies but I sensed a lot of endorphins and there certainly was a good buzz. I have volunteered to do a water station at the London Marathon and I'm really looking forward to it.    

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