- Date/Time: Sunday 4th May / 08:30
- Distance: 13.1 miles
Nothing sums up my Semi-Marathon in Geneva more than this photo …
This weekend was all about foreign lands, friends, running and an awesome amount of FUN!
If you follow my twitter/instagram you would have struggled to miss noticing that a load of us running ladies shipped ourselves off to Geneva for a “RUNcation” to do various races from 5km through to full marathons! I had, for some crazy reason, signed up for the half marathon … 4 weeks after my marathon … I know, crazy!
So the night before the race called for a kit lay down and as I was sharing a room with Lissy and Harriet it was a pretty epic one at that …
The 5:45 chorus of alarms (3 phones 3 alarms) was not the most welcome start to a Sunday morning but hey I was in Geneva, with friends, about to run in new surroundings so I couldn’t complain too much!
By 6:15 Lissy, Harriet & I were downstairs in our hotel’s breakfast room for some pre race fuel! Now usually I am a creature of habit when it comes to race days but due to how tired my legs (and the rest of me to be honest) had been feeling since the marathon I hadn’t really thought about the 13.1 miles I was about to make my body do…at all! So no baked oats for me this time instead I experimented with toast & honey topped with a banana…if nothing else it was tasty! Again unlike my usual pre race routine I had no idea where we were going or what we were doing … I just followed everyone else but luckily I was with a team of pretty organised ladies, plus the tram soon filled up with lycra wearing types ;D!
Once at our destination bag drop was super quick and easy and manned by seriously helpful staff! HOWEVER, it was freezing and so this is where I have to say a HUGE THANK YOU to Ashley who kindly got us into the P&G room to keep warm before the start! This was a pretty nice way to start a race with the room offering proper toilets, tea, coffee, fruit and most excitingly Cailler chocolate (important pre-race fuel)!!!!!!!! I could definitely get used to corporate pre race set ups!
After a quick group shot ….
We headed over to the start line where loud music was blasting and of course a big ball was floating around!
Now for my gorgeous friend Miss Harriet Capps this was to be her second half marathon and after sadly having a good few weeks off due to injury she was keen to take it slow and then pick up the pace. I was thinking I would take the whole thing slow being so soon after the marathon so we agreed to run together and then I wanted her to push off and smash her time! When we set off we were with all the other lovely TNR ladies, Charlie, Laura, Ashley, Sian and honoury team member Emily.
It was great to be running with friends again, in fact I think it was exactly what I needed as all my post marathon runs so far had been by myself and if I am honest had been a bit of a struggle at times! I had the mindset that this was just a normal TNR “bRUNch” but with extra special treats at the end (aka a medal and Swiss chocolate)!!!
Notice the guy in the background … I think this could definitely be an entry for Kelly Roberts “selfie with a hot guy”
The first few miles took us through some pretty incredible countryside, the expression “chocolate box town” comes to mind! Little villages with gorgeous homes, glorious rolling hillsides and even HORSES!! I apparently missed lots of cows too, obviously distracted by the horses!
I was just loving it, it was amazing to be running with my best friend and it was great to see the girls a little ahead all having a good time too! In fact we spotted a guy wearing this t-shirt which I think says it all ..
After passing a very bustling water point with music, oranges, water and fruit juice we were on a long downhill stretch which gave us fabulous views of the city and bought us onto the lake. The views throughout this race were pretty spectacular, the sun was shining (though the wind was COLD), boats where out and about on the water and there were some pretty amazing homes to drewl over too.
Now at this point both Harriet and I had managed to keep up with the slightly speedier TNR ladies, shocking both of us as our pace was a lot faster than anticipated. I cannot speak for Harry but I was actually feeling pretty good, my goofy running smile (seen almost all the whole way round the Manchester Marathon) was on from about mile 2 and well, I felt strong! Harry sadly managed to get a stone in her shoe and Charlie had a lace problem so they dropped off to sort themselves out. Now at this point I was carrying on and making (surprisingly) good pace HOWEVER there is something awesome about running with your friends and well I was so excited to have the opportunity to do it so I kept looking back in hope that I would catch them. Sadly, I could not see any sign of them so I made the choice to turn around and actually run back to find them. Now this was hilarious, I wish I had taken photos of people’s expressions, confused does not cover it! I (luckily) quickly found them and then we carried on as if nothing had happened!
Now in the centre of Geneva memories of Manchester came flooding back and this gave me yet another push! I loved seeing all the crowds and once again loved hearing all the incredible support! It definitely confirmed that I am a runner who feeds of other people’s energy!
Keeping up with our surprising pace we laughed and chatted our way around the route whilst I tried to perfect the art of running selfies … see Laura’s incredible selfie or her and her husband back in Berlin!
Over the bridge we gave a quick wave to Jase (a TNR other half) and then it was on to the final 2 miles! I was feeling great and had noticed that we were on track to get a sub 2 time which I knew Harriet wanted as much as I did! Luckily the route took us along part of the city that Harry and I had explored on a short little 3.5 run we had done when we first arrived in Geneva helping us judge how far we had left!
The final mile was INCREDIBLE. I love a good sprint finish and I had decided a while back that I was going to cross that line holding my best friend’s hand even if I had to drag her (which I knew I wouldn’t)! I talked the entire way through that final mile reassuring Harriet (and myself really) that we could do it (though apparently she actually gave up listening to me and had no idea what I was talking about!?!HA) Even now thinking about the last 50 metres, heading onto some wierd blue carpet to cross the finish line, gives me goosebumps! Hand in hand we did our sprint finish and shared that incredible moment of crossing a finish line together!
Past the finish line we were given our medals, enjoyed the cries and cuddles filled with happiness and then THE CAKE! They offered us free marble cake plus we once again got brought into the P&G post run tent for more Cailler, meats, bread, cake, fruit … I could go on! THANK YOU ASHLEY!
This truly was an awesome race! The scenery was beautiful, the spectators were loud and super supportive and the water stations were well manned and offered all sorted of goodies. But on a personal note this race comes in at a very close second to the Manchester Marathon if I was to put my races in an order. Without going too off-piste, I am extremely lucky to know such an awesome bunch of ladies, I love that we are a completely mixed bunch, varying in age and nationality etc etc and yet we have randomly all come together to make a great bunch of friends. This race perfectly highlighted this with each of us offering support when needed and a bit of healthy competition when it counted. I love running with these girls and I know that they have made me a stronger runner – I never thought I would be able to do a sub 2hour half marathon but apparently WE DID!
So yes, afterwards we basked in the glory with our medals, a tupperware man and of course a sneaky cocktail … or three!
A HUGE congratulation to all the lovely TNR ladies who ran this weekend! It was an absolute pleasure to be part of #TeamFondue … and of course the question begs … WHERE NEXT?