Mr Smith was meant to be running a half marathon, but injury did not allow.  Find out what and lots more about a great half marathon that will be done in the future…

After 3 eventful half marathons this year, this was definitely my hardest:

  • North London – I was running injured knowing I was going for surgery in a week on the ankle
  • Hackney Half – 3 days after being told I could start any running again I hobbled round it
  • Copenhagen Half – Fully prepared and last long run before Barns Green, but ankle starts to cause problems at 8km and worse at 20km

So why was Barns Green so tough?  Because I had to be sensible and not run it.  I gave up my place to another runner that had not entered, so at least it was not a wasted place, but being a supporter and spectator is tough!

Barns Green is the half to do in Sussex and although I have never been that interested before I have been along to watch in the past as a non runner, but now that I run I really wanted to do it.

It was a tough decision, but the right one.  So I went along to support my fellow athletes and Genius Joggers.  It was a lovely day for it, definitely for watching anyway.  Glorious sun, very little breeze and a great location.  Pre race was spent transferring my entry, meeting new people and taking a few snaps, before seeing them off to the start.

The race was then off and the lead runners headed off at a great rate of knots and it was good to see the Genius joggers running together and looking relaxed and enjoying the first few hundred metres.

I then headed out to mile 6 to get ready for the leaders to come through.  The advantage for spectators is that is not far and I hobbled out there without too much trouble.  The leaders came through to the sounds of a steel band and they were looking good.

I started to move slowly back towards the start, taking lots of pictures, and was lucky enough to get the Genius Joggers looking good at about the 6 mile mark.  All running well and enjoying it (I think!)

Time for me to head back to the start and finish to get in place for more photos and to see the runners coming home.  There was a good atmosphere and the speed the winners were running was impressive, not sure I could sustain that pace for long.

I was trying to get as many pictures of the Horsham Joggers as possible, but definitely the Genius Joggers, so I got in position and waited.  Given the pre race talk I was expecting plus 2 hours, but after the half way point I thought they may be quicker and I was pleased to see they were coming through in sub 2 hour pace, which was great, and also looking like they were still enjoying it.

After the race it was time for them to show off their bling and enjoy the end.  It was sad for me that I was not able to show off as well, but it was definitely the right decision not to have run.  I would have done a lot more damage and would have struggled to do a mile, even with my stubbornness!

Will I try and do it next year?  Yes!  It looks like there is a 2 week gap from Copenhagen again, which I am going to go back too as I have unfinished business with it!

Reflections on the day:

  • Greet to meet new people and catch up with a new friends
  • Tough being a spectator and not a runner
  • You can get a buzz from others performances even if you do not run
  • Determination to make it next year is high

Loads of photos of the day below

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