What would be your ideal race? If you could cherry pick all elements of race day, what would you go for? I saw fellow runner Ruth post about her ideal event on her blog and it inspired me to think about what mine would be like. Similar to Ruth, I have gone for a bit of an amalgamation of my favourite moments from past race experiences...
Setting: race day would be a warm Spring day - warm enough to be running in vest and shorts, but not hot enough to cause overheating and/or sunburn! A gentle cooling breeze would also be in the air - note the use of the word 'breeze', not wind!
Distance: I am going to go for a half marathon. I love marathons, but lets face it, those last few miles don't feel like that much fun when you are actually running! So in order to maximize enjoyment levels, and fit in all the elements I want in my ideal race, I have opted for a half.
Start: a start line needs to be a place where you feel relaxed and calm about the race to come. Not stressed rushing to manage baggage drops, toilet queues etc. So my perfect start would be a parkrun like start; a friendly, relaxed atmosphere which leads to an informal, self organised start. The familiarity of a parkrun environment would also help ease any pre-race nerves!
Course: I think we can all agree the course has got to be interesting! In a perfect race I would like a mix of iconic landmarks and also a bit of added entertainment. On the landmarks list I would 100% want London's Tower Bridge - I think nearly every runners' favourite moment from the London Marathon is this stretch. I would have Tower Bridge at the half way point, followed by Great North Run's Tyne Bridge at Mile 10. I always find Mile 10 is a point in a half marathon where I need a boost, so another landmark would be appreciated here. When I ran the Great North Run it was perfectly timed that the Red Arrows flew over just as I entered the bridge, so if that could happen again that would be ideal..! I would like the course itself to be flat (and by this I actually mean flat!), have some musical acts dotted around as extra motivational boosts, and I wouldn't mind if we could do a little stretch along Brighton Seafront. I have ran in Brighton twice now, so that promenade holds some good memories. Oh, and if the London Marathon crowds could turn out for this race I would be over the moon.
Finish: living in Lincoln and running regularly with the Cathedral in sight I think I take for granted that this is quite a picturesque finish to the city's Lincoln 10k race. Plus, as its my hometown, I imagine having this on the horizon at the end of a half marathon would feel like I was truly heading for the home straight. The finish would be followed by sitting in the sun, with friends and a fruit cider in a pub in the Cathedral Quarter of Lincoln - celebrating a new PB obviously!
Medal and Good Bag: you have got to love a nice flashy medal, so my ideal race would be accompanied by a nice piece of bling, worthy of taking pride of place on my medal hanger. In the race goody bag I would like a purple (favourite colour) Nike (favourite brand) Tech tee shirt, a bottle of water and a bag (or two) of Malteasers. Perfection.
Anyone fancy joining me?!
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...