Winchester Half Marathon 2019: The Final Stretch

2 Oct 2019

Last weekend saw in the final stretch for our Winchester Half Marathon runners, who completed the race on Sunday 22 September. Over 2,000 runners came together to take on the scenic 13 mile race which began and ended in Winchester City Centre. Read on to find out how the students and staff from the University got on. Not even the rain could slow them down!

Dr Sarah Bayless, Senior Lecturer in Psychology

Marathon Final Sarah

Pre-race routines/superstitions
Nothing really, I try to get a good night's sleep and not to get too nervous.

Race finish time
Despite being better prepared than last year I managed a personal worst time. My training pace had me at a 2.17 finish and I ended up 10 minutes slower. I didn't achieve the negative splits I had planned for the second and flat half of the route. Pretty awful, but there's always next year!

Race highlight
All the marshals were amazing cheering everyone on in the pouring rain. My favourite though was the guy about 1km from the start line who shouted "Good work you're nearly done!" Oliver's battery hill didn't seem so tough this time, so that was a small win.

Race low point
The blisters from the sodden trainers that made themselves known before 10K, and generally not feeling 100% on the day.

The running mantra that kept you going
My kids made me a playlist which I started just before the Oliver's batter hill. Although I don't usually run with music their eclectic song choices helped distract from my sore feet and the crushing fact that the pacers I wanted to stay ahead of had just passed me!

Post-race celebrations
Cheering on my sons in the fun run. They really enjoyed it, and clearly don't take after their mum when it comes to running as they all did very well!

Next running challenge
Winchester 10K, and I'll have to keep trying at the winch half until I get my target time!

Kelly Chesterman, Admissions Officer

Having completed my final big training run a couple of weekends before the race, I thought some gardening in the sunshine the day before would be a gentle tonic.

This really meant the clearing, raking and re-seeding of two and a half acres of garden. I bent down, couldn't get back up and had to make the decision not to run.

Very disappointed and cross at myself, especially as I love running in the rain and it absolutely chucked it down!

Vanessa Corbett, Wellbeing Administrator

Marathon Final Vanessa

Race Day: I'm the one in the middle!

Pre-race routines/superstitions
Carb loading the night before.

Race finish time
1:59 - Best pace for Winchester Half Marathon. (As it's the only time I have done it!)

Race highlight
Starting the race with my friends, pictured above.

Race low point
The last 2 miles really hurt!

The running mantra that kept you going
If she/he can do it so can I!

Post-race celebrations
A hot bath!

Next running challenge
Happy with just the one running challenge this year!

Elis Thomas (Ba Hons) Ancient, Classical and Medieval Studies

Pre-race routines/superstitions
I don't have any really...

Race finish time
2:16:53

Race highlight
The end. The last 3 or so miles were really tough and the end 100m or so were really motivating and rewarding.

Race low point
Probably running behind a parked van to wee, also the final few miles.

The running mantra that kept you going
Not sure really, what kept me going was a stubbornness to beat some random people around me that I'd chosen as pacers.

Post-race celebrations
10 piece KFC bucket!

Next running challenge
I immediately signed up for the Winchester 10K. Very motivated to make a personal best by a large margin.

Chris Try, BA (Hons) Global History and Politics

Pre-race routines/superstitions 
Before any kind of race, I have never had any specific superstitions, just that all the things I need are as well organised as possible and that I'm not missing anything important! Aside from superstitions however, I believe it is important to eat as healthy as possible the day before maximising your energy for the next day and of course making sure hydration is optimum. On the morning of, last minute hydration and an energy- rich breakfast is so important.

Race finish time
1hr 44mins 25sec

Race highlight
I generally felt very good throughout the whole race, something that spurred me on a lot, however if I was to pick one highlight it would have to be seeing the Naomi House and Jacksplace at the 8-mile mark, a cause that I have been raising money for, and therefore was an extra boost into the latter stages of the race.

Race low point
I had anticipated having a 'low point' in the race due the fact I hadn't quite covered the full distance during training, however I was able to stay really relaxed during the first stages of the race and therefore this really helped save energy. However, a tough point was probably around the 10-mile mark where the miles seemed for go a lot slower and the legs seemed to get heavier and heavier.

The running mantra that kept you going
I knew that if I kept relaxed and stayed within my limits at the start of the race I would be able to finish relatively strongly. I had known that during my training I had run on terrain that was a lot harder than the course, and therefore kept it in my mind that I had completed several tough training sessions. So not a mantra as such, but just to 'keep going' as I had done the real hard work in training.

Post-race celebrations
At first I think it is just a big smile of relief that you've finished and then after a big gulp of water. I was also lucky enough to be taken out for a roast dinner after the race, and that was definitely a worthy celebration!

Next running challenge
I am going to begin training for the indoor athletics season straight away, but in terms of long distance running I am considering entering the Winchester 10K in February but as of yet am undecided.

If you missed our previous blog posts and would like to see how far our runners have come, Meet Our Runners or check on their Training Update.

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