What a lovely fresh spring morning after all of the weather we have had recently. There was a little bit of sun in the sky and Mrs UB was embarking on the Liverpool Half Marathon and I was out for a long-ish run and hopefully chuck in a bit of support.
I ran from the in-laws house over in Knotty Ash, through the suburbs of Liverpool, quiet as anything at 8.00am on a Sunday. Was everyone at church? Doubtful. All probably in bed judging by the number of vodka and alco-pop bottles on the street.
I ran towards the City and then cut a left down towards the airport and then up to Sefton Park where the course looped between 3.5-8 miles around the park. Not 10 seconds after I had arrive, i got my phone out to check on any missed texts and Claire B ran out of the melee of runners (there were 8400 runners, not the 5000 expected!) and gave me a big hug. Susie stated that she had been ill all week (eek! Hope it was not the Sea Urchin and various other nautical delicacies that I fed her and her husband Matt the previous week?!) Anyway she was cruising along quickly so I then spent the next 15 mins trying to pick out Mrs UB from the crowds. Little did I know she had started 10 mins late and was clawing her way from the back!
Magic moment of race chaos here as eventual winner Josh Tilley (1hr 6 mins!) was running with the front pace/time car back into the crowd of runners coming the opposite way as the cones down the middle were being ignored, such was the size of the min bunch of runners. He did a cross country detour, swearing and waving his arms! No matter, he won by a country mile.
I managed to see Claire again at 5.5 and Susie at 5.5 and at two or three further occasions. At 8-9 miles, I ran with her for a bit. Unlike all of her training, she was eating and taking on energy drinks! Well done! I guess the pasta last night and porrige this morning really helped. I went South again as I did not want to run on the same track as the runners. I had a dash down to the coast and ran instead the Mersey Way for a few miles, cutting back up to Otterspool and then onto the roads to avoid the runners.
Sites along the way that were memorable for me.....the beautiful Sefton Park, my University Halls (eerie at 9.00am!) the Docks, the Chinese restaurant that we celebrated our 2nd (chinese) wedding in and of course the "Three Graces" (Google it!) at the finish.
Susie completed the course in 2.10.34 which, with her level of training was pretty decent and her second fastest Half. I ran up to meet her and then George, Astrid and Jo at the finish and then it was off to Tai Pan for a lorry load of Dim Sum and chrysanthemum tea (no cider!) to engorge our hungry bellies. Just over 20 miles for me for the day and a wonderful half marathon for my awesome wife.