Last week I received an offer, via Parkrun, to enter a competition where some lucky Parkrunners would be offered a chance to compete at the famous, and very prestigious, IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Cardiff in March.
Since I started running again, at the beginning of this year, I have mainly focused on 10k races, with the introduction of weekly 5k runs via Parkrun coming later in the year. But a half-marathon is something that I have always wanted to try, because my big goal is to run in the London Marathon one day, and it’s probably a good idea to get a couple of HMs under my belt first.
So I entered the competition and thought nothing more of it. That was until I received an email from the organisers this evening informing me that I had been awarded a place in the race. Not only had I won a place, but I had also won the following as well:
- A training t-shirt
- A chance to win one of 200 pairs of ADIDAS trainers
- Access to training plans and an online support network
- Access to Injury prevention videos
- Race day social events and a chance to meet famous faces from the sporting world
- A training evening hosted by an endurance expert
Needless to say that I was DELIGHTED to have won a place. Firstly because I rarely win anything (over the previous 37 years I have won three things, this race entry, £1,000 cash, and a Walkman at school), secondly I am hoping to meet some of my heroes (Paul Martelletti being top of that list), and thirdly seeing so many elite runners might spark me to run a bit harder.
I immediately started to excitedly plot a training programme that would hopefully help me not only complete the remaining 10k races I have scheduled, but would also help me with the half-marathon. I also started looking at hotels in Cardiff (I believe in booking as early as possible).
Then a wave of doubt swept over me. Is this too much of a leap so soon for me? After all, I’ve only done 5k and 10k races, and a half-marathon is more than two times the length of a 10k.
I don’t suppose I’m alone with this kind of sensation when someone decides to run a longer race for the first time. I’m sure on the day, once the run has started, I’ll be fine, maybe I’ll just attack it like I did with my first 10k this year and just aim to finish.
It’s a fantastic opportunity for any level of runner and I’m very honoured to be able to run it.