27th August saw the first ever Simply Health Aberdeen Half Marathon and I completed it!
On the morning of the race I was incredibly nervous, my training hadn’t exactly gone to plan; there were runs that ended in me having to phone for a lift home as I was just too tired to carry on. Huge learning curve for the future, don’t attempt half marathon training when you’re also in a calorie deficit as you’re dieting for your summer holidays. The bout of sinusitus the week of the half didn’t exactly help matters either!
Nevertheless the day had arrived and it was time to get my running gear on; Macmillan vest, leopard print leggings and pink New Balance trainers, it was a good look!
The race started on Aberdeen’s Union Street, the heart of the town, normally full of traffic and Saturday shoppers. Runners were grouped according to bib colour, with all areas being well marked. There was a little warm before everyone moved forward to start the run. The different bib colours set off at roughly 2 minute intervals to each other.
Running down Union Street was great, route was lined with lots and lots of people, then head down a pretty steep hill, round past the harbour and up on to the beach front. If you’re not from Aberdeen then running past the beach really is a treat. There was a water station around mile 3 and I had to stop for some, normally I wouldn’t take on water until mile 6 but it was very hot.
Miles 4-6 were pretty non-descript, the route it flat and you’re just doing an out and back close to the exhibition centre. Water station at around mile 6, again very much needed! Miles 6/7 take you around the old cobbled streets in Old Aberdeen and around the University. I can’t say running on cobbles is much fun, i’m really hoping they re-route that part next year, even if the University is very pretty.
Miles 7-9 take you back toward the beach, there was shower at Mile 8-ish, felt so great as I was really starting to lose momentum at that point. By mile 9 I had to start doing some walking as the heat and lack of training started to get to me! Another water station at Mile 9. You then veer off down past the driving range and do a small out and back beside Pittodrie and then THE HILL.
The Hill is also part of the Baker Hughes 10K in May but somehow it felt twice as steep and twice as long, I had to walk it. Until I saw some friends who cheered me on and told me to get moving, I did, but I really was done by that point! Mile 10 – 11 takes you across Mounthooly and up on to Schoolhill where the crowds of people watching start to thicken.
I was doing a fair bit of run/walk/run at this point, my tshirt had my name on it so anytime someone shouted my name it gave me that boost to break back into a run, if only someone could shout my name all the way.
Another shower just before the 12 mile marker – it was SOOOOO cold, as soon as I went under I regretted it!! Just need to run a bit faster to warm up! My friend passed my at around 12.5 miles and I wished I could have kept up with him but I had nothing left!! The rest of race was done at a super slow barely a jog pace, such a shame as the end of the race is great, the tiniest incline up Carden Place and then a nice straight down hill through Albyn and back onto Union Street. The crowds lining the end of the race were great! (there was another water station somewhere but I can’t remember!)
You funnel through and cross the mat, over head there were timers for each of the different bib colours – great as some races don’t have this. Finishing time of 2 hours 5 min 36 seconds, I was pretty disappointed as I really wanted sub 2 hours but given the heat and my lack of training i’ll take it.
To finish you funnel all the way through to get your finishers tshirt, medal, water and goodie back.
All in all it was a great route, great crowds and well organised. Raising £350 for Macmillan so definitely worth it. Looking forward to next year so I can get that sub 2 hours 🙂
Oh and I forgot to mention my Nike app/Spotify refused to talk to each other on the day so I had to forgo the Nike app telling me my time in favour of having music – must find a better solution for next time.