Since the start of the covid pandemic my daughter Lucy had made a decision to become fitter and to be more active. At school she hadn't been particularly interested in sport. Lucy, John and I do walk a lot and we had almost finished walking the Suffolk coast path when we went into a lockdown in March 2020. We have now finished this long distance path and will be starting on the Norfolk coastal path when time allows. This is part of our plan to walk the coast of England. During that first lockdown Lucy started running each day and she found she really enjoyed it. She has put a lot of effort into learning about the right stretch and warm up exercises to do before running and how to cool down to prevent injuries. She has also become much more interested in ensuring she has the right nutrition. In May she competed in her first 10K run and in September she took part in a half marathon.
The half marathon started and ended in the gardens of Hampton Court,
Hampton Court Palace is a royal palace and is on the Thames 12 miles upstream of central London. Building on the residence for Cardinal Thomas Wolsey began in 1514. Wolsey was the chief minister of King Henry VIII. In 1529 when Wolsey fell out of favour with the Henry, he gave the palace to the king. King Henry enlarged the house and it became on of his favourite residences. The house is currently in the possession of Queen Elizabeth II and the Crown. The palace and grounds are open to the public and on a previous visit several years ago we really enjoyed the well established maze.
The half marathon started at 9 a.m. with the runners who had submitted the fastest potential times going in the first wave. Lucy had put in a slower time so had to wait a little for the start. That's Lucy in the centre of the photo in her black legging and bright orange running shoes as she started the race.
Whilst she was running I was able to wander around the garden and drink tea. The avenue of trees lead from the house to the fountain.
There were gulls on the pond but they flew away as I got near. I think I saw fish in the water but couldn't capture anything on a photo.
With my back to the house and the fountain. I had this view in front of me.
As we walked through to get to the race start we passed this lovely dragon.
One or two small children were worried he might eat them.In the race village there were stalls selling food, running gear, bath bombs and creams so I generally had a look round. I didn't walk round the flower gardens as I wanted to be able to cheer Lucy on when she came round from the first loop. Since none of my children were in school sports teams I'd never experienced cheering from the sidelines. When she took part in her 10k run the organisers had asked that there were no supporters so that social distancing could be followed. I found a good spot on the terrace area so I could see her and I could shout encouragement, but where she would be running on smooth ground so wouldn't trip up if she turned to look where I was. As she came into view I made a lot of noise and she turned and waved at me. She later told me it had really helped spur her on.
By now the fastest runners were already coming in with the fastest male clocking 1 hour 11 minutes and the fastest female 1 hour 22 minutes. I have no idea how the runners managed it but they all sprinted the final metres to the finish line. Lucy said the crowd cheering really made her pick up her speed at the end. Lucy crossed the finish in 2 hours 30 minutes. The red numbers on the photo are the gun time but the runners all had strips on their shoes that gave them their personal time. She was very pleased with her result, especially as it was her first full half marathon.The medal is very heavy.
After meeting her at the finish we went and found a coffee before heading back to the car. Whilst walking back the rain started and we were both drenched before we got to it. At least it didn't rain while they were running. I'm very proud of my daughter's achievement and she is now planning to do some trail running.
Back to today and I have a day off so I'm going to be setting up my machine and having a fun day. It won't be all sewing as I do have an ironing mountain to tame along the way and I want to try and book a hair cut.