Thursday, 5 April 2012

A half marathon

Last weekend Hugh and I travelled to Reading to spend some time with Ben. His girlfriend Rachel was actually back in Essex as she had a 21st birthday party to go to, but Ben had one of his best mates staying with him, Matt, who he went to school with. Matt was sleeping on the settee in the lounge and as Ben only has the one bedroom, Hugh and I had booked into a Premier Inn for the night!

We arrived at lunchtime and after having lunch with Ben and Matt in the flat, we all took a stroll into Reading to have a look at the shopping centre. I was very impressed! It is huge! I only spent a little bit of money, on a fleece to wear on our upcoming holiday to the Isle of Wight and a pair of trainers to wear when we go to California in the summer - I want to wear them around the house before we go to 'break them in'.

Later that evening we took Ben and Matt to a carvery for their evening meal, where they ate more food than I have ever seen two people eat! Ben needed to stock up on the calories as he was running the Reading Half Marathon the next morning, but I think Matt was just enjoying his food!

So, bright and early on Sunday morning (seriously, getting up at 6.30am on a Sunday morning is no joke!) we set off for the Madjeski Stadium (Reading Football team's home ground) where the marathon was starting from. The roads were a nightmare - well, they are a nightmare at the best of times with a terrible one way system, but on Sunday loads of them were closed as well, in preparation for the marathon! Having eventually found a carpark to abandon the car, Hugh and I were going to walk to the stadium - we then saw a sign that said it was 2.5 miles and then we saw a handy taxi and so took that!

We met up with Ben and Matt and walked Ben to the start line, which was outside the stadium.

Ben before he set off for the start line
Having seen him set off,

Look carefully, you can see him to the right and the back
Hugh, Matt and I made our way back into the stadium, grabbed a drink and made ourselves comfy inside the stadium on some seats, very close to the finish line.

We had asked Ben how long he thought he would take. Now, bearing in mind that this was the first ever half marathon he had run, but he does train in the gym every day, he said he hoped to finish in about 1 hour and 20 minutes and he had started with the elite runners. We weren't quite sure if he would be able to do this! The first place runner entered the stadium at about 3 minutes after the hour and once it got to 15 minutes after the hour we started looking for Ben, but not really thinking he would be there.

Suddenly, there he was!
Just to the left of the upright pole of the 'tent' you can just about make him out!
 I was so excited I forgot to focus the camera properly!!
He looked exhausted, but did a sprint finish to the finish line to try and beat the guy he was running next to.
He is just behind the guy in the black
Yep, a finish time of 1 hour 21 minutes and 19 seconds! It actually might be a bit faster than that once he gets his official time back from the chip he had around his ankle!

We were so proud! We left the stadium and retraced our steps back outside to meet up with him and see his medal.

I had a very sweaty hug from my big boy, but I didn't mind! Apparently he had to have a nap in the afternoon!

I might be M.I.A. for a few days over Easter. I will try to keep up with everyone's blogs, but might not have internet connection, so please don't think I have forgotten you all! I will be back. Have a lovely Easter everyone - let's hope the weather warms up a bit!


Sian said...

Wow! I admire anyone who can run. Definitely not something I am good at!

Karen said...

That was a very impressive firsts race!

scrappyjacky said...

Well done to him.

Alison said...

Well done to Ben...have a lovely Easter Becky...I actually posted the book off yesterday..I had left it under a pile of 'stuff' and forgot ALL about sorry!!
Alison xx

alexa said...

Many congratulations! Quite an achievement, and hope he recovers well - and that you have a loving time over Easter.

Beverly said...

Yay for Ben, I am very impressed with that time for his first half! Thanks for sharing the day with us :) Hope you have a lovely time away and a blessed Easter.

Jo.C said...

Great shots - very tired but happy at the end.
Enjoy Easter x

Maria Ontiveros said...

Congrats to ben (and to you for finding that cab - LOL!). I can't really run more than about 5k.

Gail said...

How exciting - congrats to Ben on finishing so well.