Gloucester City Half was my eight half marathon in my #1year12halfschallenge – to raise money for the British Heart Foundation.
It was an early morning for the Price family with alarms clock set for 5:30am – I know early for a Sunday.
We arrived in Gloucester in plenty of time, just as well as I had to go on a toilet hunt….
It was great to meet up with other Lydney parkrunners and Forest of Dean Athletic Club members. The race started in the Docks, it was not completely clear where the start was but I crossed it, and exited the docks onto Southgate Street, a quick trip around Commercial Street, before heading over The Cross into Northgate Street.
It was amazing to see how many people were out lining the streets all around the course, cheering us on.
After leaving the City Centre, we took a trip down Kingsholm past the Rugby ground, and onto Escourt Road, again the streets were lined with supporters.
After ducking under the A40 at Elmbridge we appeared in Churchdown here again the streets were filled with so many supporters, the Price family made another appearance, and some work colleagues were out to encourage me – thank you – here I lost my running partner for the past few miles Victoria, not sure where you went?
The route then took a split with a decision to make, do I go straight on and go for a full marathon, or turn left and stick to the Half. I turned left and enjoyed the trip along Down Hatherley Lane, looking out across the fields, from here which was about half way I could start to see glimpses of Robinswood HIll.
A short run down the A38 past all the stopped traffic, and up the driveway of Nature in Art, the fields and scenery around here was loverly, then a quick dash through a rather smelly farmyard, before coming out in Sandhurst.
Here I was caught up by a hoard of runners, which I guessed were with the 2 hour pacer, my goal was to try and stay in front of them, as we wound our way through Sandhurst and out onto St Oswalds Rd – here I thought my race was over, as I tripped on something not sure what, and was aiming for the pavement, luckily I managed to right myself before hitting the ground.
The final part of the route took us around the back of the new houses at St Oswalds, and down a wooden ramp onto the flood plains, with the river to the right, under the railway arches, along by the old boating lake, before taking a steep sharp climb up over the footbridge over the River Severn, it was then an undulating trek along the outskirts of Alney Island, before popping out onto Severn Road.
As I turned the corner onto Llanthony Road, the finish whilst not in sight, could be heard, the crowds were lining the street, and around the corner along the canal, were hundreds of people cheering me over the finish line, it was amazing to hear my name being called out as I finished in 1hr 59mins.
A great course, scenic, fantastic supporters, marshals were amazing – thank you for all your support – the finish was one of the best I have experienced, would I do it again – not sure it was not the best organised, water stations were badly managed, the start was not clear, only saw a few mile markers, and the goodie bag was non existent – but it is a nice route, very scenic, quite flat, and also local to home.
Thank you again for all your support through my #1year2halfs challenge I can’t believe that I’ve only four more runs to go. The next one is the Severn Bridge Half on 27th August – See you there.
If you would like to sponsor me then the best way is to go via www.justgiving.com/1year12halfs. All money raised is going direct to the British Heart Foundation,