|Ealing's Reluctant Runner - The Finale|
Ealing Half Marathon last report
The news of Andrews Carter's death following the Ealing Half Marathon has cast a shadow over this year's event.
Many runners will have witnessed the efforts of the paramedics in Lammas Park and will no doubt still be in state of shock.
May I offer my deepest condolences to family and friends of Andrew and to everyone who has been affected by this tragedy. Let's hope there will soon be a fitting tribute in Lammas Park - a special place where Andrew used to run.
The day was as well organised as we have come to expect and thousands of runners - many from outside the area - joined in the EHM for its third year.
I wasn't feeling so great however - toothache had started the night before and I wasn't remotely ready to run.
As we took our positions (me at the back as per) the excitement and trepidation began building.
I finally got through the start line and was greeted by hundreds of friendly faces.
This year I was running for Alzheimer's Society and had my name on my vest. I had decided not to listen to any music this time round - instead to hear the many cheers and shouts of encouragement. I'm so glad I did as oh my goodness did I need them!
I managed the first stretch (to Pitshanger Park) reasonably well - but then the temperature started climbing and I began to feel rather ill.
At Kent Avenue I had to walk - I really wasn't feeling good, but not long after came the cries of 'Come on Annemarie you can do it' and somehow my legs began to move just a bit faster.
The rest of the course was very slow and at times I felt as though I were wading through treacle. Quite a few others noticed the heat too - so I wasn't alone.
On the home stretch I was given a (metaphorical!) injection of adrenalin by someone who actually recognised me from these here witterings and shouted 'Look it's the reluctant runner!!!' Fame at last!
Whoever you were I thank you - you gave me a much needed laugh and a spur of energy which helped me get back to Lammas Park.
Once again my high point - as always - was the finish line.
I summoned my last vestige of energy and sprinted - I couldn't get there quick enough.
Remarkably I appear to have shaved a few minutes off last year - despite feeling it was a far, far worse run - and even more remarkable I actually appear to be SMILING on all my official race photos.
The reason for this I think is not just that I was probably delirious - but because of Ealing.
You all came out en force once again and showed what a fab supportive community we have here. You gave me jelly babies (thanks Fiona and others), high fives, quite a few laughs along the 13.1 mile route and really kept me going.
Once again huge thanks go to the wonderful organisers, the incredible volunteers and everyone involved in any capacity.
I'm still - and always will be - reluctant but look at this...
I appear to have earned three of them now .....does this mean I'm actually a runner? ;)
2nd October 2014