Newport Half – COMPLETED

The weather was kind to us today. We left home in torrential rain, but the sky soon cleared and blue sky was on display.
Arriving in the centre of Newport was easy, parking near to the leisure centre, time to drop the bag off and use the facilities, before rushing over to the start area on the main shopping street.
It was great to bump into running friends from FoDAC and Lydney parkrun, and Chepstow Harriers, and have a quick photo before the start.
The first couple of miles took us out of the centre out towards the Transporter Bridge, and back along the front by the Leisure Centre.
Heading up past the bus station and taking a right over the River Usk we then headed up Caerleon Road. It was great to see so many of the local residents out cheering us on, offering sweets, high fives and plenty of support.
Passing under the M4 we then swung left, with plenty of runners panicking when they came across some mud and water!!! Straight threw was the only and best option, we then had a pleasant run alongside the river on the approach to Caerleon.
Crossing the old bridge, and bearing right passing the Amphitheatre we were then treated to open fields before reaching the river, this time it was on our left as we ran down between it and the busy A4042, the short steep down hill section was great to open the legs up before heading back under the M4, to the tune of a bag-piper.
After leaving a small industrial estate, we then had the joy of running down the A4042 back into the centre of Newport, lots of tooting, at this point the 2 Hour pacer managed to catch me up, and all his followers I think had a goal to trip me up.
AS the riverfront cam back into view so did the finish but first we ventured over the Newport City Footbridge with all its clanking and creaking.
Now came the hardest part, the climb up on to the A48 Southern Distributor Road Bridge, not only did this feel very steep there was a very strong headwind making the climb even harder, as we dropped off the bridge and back to the banks of the River Usk, somebody shouted out only 700 meters to go, it felt the longest 700 meters, but eventually after colliding with a railing, and overtaking the 2 hour pacer, I crossed the line in 1 hour 59 mins.
It was great to know people on the course, running with Andy and Anna having their support was great, and coming over the finish line and celebrating with friends showing off our new medal and t-shirts.
Thank you to the many marshals and well wishers out, a tough course but a lot more scenic than I was first expecting.
Next run Bournemouth Bay 2nd April.

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