After completing my first half in May 17, I vowed to never do one again (but with a lot more swear words!) Not even a week later, I was signed up to the Basingstoke Half. The real challenge was then to rope my friends in too! But eventually with a lot of persuasion (some more than others); Julie Graham, Holly Dunn & Lucy Ong were registered. In the build up to the day, all we heard when Basingstoke was mentioned was how hilly it was.
How bad could it be? We all agreed to meet early on the day, but due to flooding the free designated car park was closed, so we all had to find an alternative. I just hoped it wasn’t a bad omen for the rest of the day. We managed to all find each other, Lucy Ong couldn’t be missed as she was jumping around full of sugar, after admitting to having chocolate for breakfast and sweeties while waiting. (For anyone that doesn’t know Lucy, she really doesn’t need sugar).
It was a fab surprise to bump into Monica Burbidge, Monica had swept us in Pure beginners, ran with us for our first 10k, and now to join us for some of our first halves made it special. With a rather long warm up involving copious amounts of squatting, we were ready! The course began by leaving Basingstoke on a duel carriageway, after a few roads you were in the beautiful countryside, I have to say, I didn’t realise Basingstoke was as beautiful and scenic as it was. Yes the course was undulating and hilly, but the views were stunning!!
We had been training for weeks previous especially doing hill sprints, and I found the hills enjoyable and managed to run all of them. The support from public, volunteers & marshals were top class. There were people cheering and giving out sweets on every road and corner, it was lovely to feel such a part of their community and I was very happy with my official chip time (2:41:26).
In summary, I really enjoyed Basingstoke. I would definitely be happy to run it again, but what really made it special was running it with my friends, we supported each other and all got round. I actually can’t wait to book my next half!