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Amy Gates tells of her first time at the GSR and her first 10 miler

It was my first GSR, and my first 10 mile race. I was running in memory of my sister, who had lost her fight against cancer 10 years ago on 21st October, I’d decided to raise money for the Sebastian Action Trust and the sponsorship money had flooded in.

I was up early on the morning of the race, eating porridge and trying to locate a cap, I hadn’t expected the warm weather. We left in plenty of time and as we came in towards Southsea we soon found the roads closed and lots of excited runners all heading towards the front. Luckily my husband found a parking space and we headed towards the start.

The atmosphere was great, so many people, both spectators and runners. Not sure I’ve ever seen so many different charity t shirts. I’d guessed my time when entering and was allocated the green wave. I was soon lining up, taking part in a warm up routine lead by the Duracell bunny!! The excitement inside was growing, the sun was shining and I was feeling really positive for the run and for my sister. The count down began, we were off.

It was a slow start but I made it over the start line in 9 minutes, my husband and kids were behind me, but it was great seeing all the supporters as we headed out towards Old Portsmouth. The first few miles were spent weaving, I’d spotted a friend ahead and raced to catch up, to say good luck, after a quick chat I was in the zone again and enjoying the sights of the historic dockyards. So far so good, I wasn’t far off my 9 minute mile race pace, the crowds were brilliant and I loved the music stations a long the way. Soon I was back on the front, seeing the runners on the other side of the road near the finish wasn’t easy!! Knowing I’d see my husband and kids any moment kept me going. Soon I could hear their cheers, I blew kisses and waved with excitement.


The last 3 miles were great, I knew there was a gel station where I’d be able to refuel. I grabbed one on the way past, not looking at the flavour, having ripped it open I popped it in my mouth… I wasn’t expecting the custard (vanilla) flavour! But it did the job, as did the house music for the final mile. It was so busy with runners and tightly packed spectators that I didn’t see my family near the finish line, but it was over… I’d run the GSR in 1.34mins. A great race, which I’ll be doing again next year!

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