On Sunday 19th March, a group of keen runners from ASL’s UK office traveled to Hastings, West Sussex to take part in the half marathon.
The group consisted of members with varied levels of running experience, including those who have ran a number of marathons in the past, and those who had only just began running a matter of months ago.
The route wasn’t an easy one, and the hilly and strong headwind made for an even harder run. But every runner made it past the finish line, and all with times to be proud of:
Dan W – 1:46.16
Keith O – 1:49.01
Barry K – 1:49:08
Dan B – 1:53:40
Alistair T – 1:57:55
Ricky K – 1:57:57
David W – 2:06:41
Theo W – 2:08:01
Matt C – 2:22:12
Our top runner, Dan W, describes how the race went for him.:
Pre race: arrived far too early which gave plenty of time to put headphones on / take them off and generally faff. It was COLD. Found a nice warm marquee and faffed more with headphones.
Start: huddled in the middle of the (3000?) runners trying not to get hyperthermia before the gun went off. I’m definitely more of a warm weather runner. Some optimistic start positions from a few of the ASL crew who seemed to think they were in with a chance of a top 10 finish.
Mile 1 – danced in and out of various people who had clearly started too far forward. Managed to not trip over the fancy dress runners. Or the ASL crew who had pitted themselves against the winners but were now slowing down slightly. (Not mentioning any names here)
Mile 2-6 – Up. Up hill. Entirely up hill. How is it even possible to go up hill for 4 miles in the UK? Kept glancing at watch and didn’t seem to be slowing down though. This was either going to be much faster than I’d hoped for, or I was going to blow up and be beaten by batman and robin.
Mile 6-9 – Seriously? Still up hill? Altitude sickness was a real concern now. Still hadn’t slowed down to superhero-fancy-dress pace. Started hitting the jelly babies and a few high fives from the very encouraging crowd sent me to the top of the hill where we switched back directions. I saw Dan B around 500m behind me. Despite a lack of training, my ego spurred my on now assuming I was in 1st (OK, ASL 1st) place. Or maybe I’d just missed Keith go past me.
Mile 9-11 – DOWNHILL. Hammered it. Far too fast and I knew my knees would be very angry with me later. But it was lovely, lovely free-miles downhill. I was surrounded by serious looking club runners with proper running vests. That’s usually a good sign. Just needed to hang on for the last two…
Miles 11-13 – I thought flat is supposed to be easy… but not if (i) you trained less than you’ve ever trained before and (ii) a consistent 20mph wind is trying to send you back to mile 9. This. Was. A slog. Thoughts of a friend who is very ill and would cherish the opportunity to be well enough to be in my position stomped on any internal whinging about why I was there. Job to do. Get to finish.
Finish – job done. Waited. Shivered. Drank tea and orange squash. Then BOOM three more ASL shirts as Keith, Dan and Barry emerged from the crowd. More tea and squash as the rest of the crew came over the line. Top effort from everyone. Especially those who had decided on such a brutal half as their first.
ASL are incredibly proud of their running team, who are now planning and preparing for their next race. Watch this space for more news on their progress!