After 16 weeks of training, 12 of the FitBitch Running crew headed out to Lisbon to run the Half Marathon. It was a ‘unique’ experience, of which more later.
First of all congratulations to all who took part in what was a tough race, not least because of the heat which was a shock after training in the British winter.
Belinda Muir, Tanya Taylor and Stephanie Scheir once again notched up great runs. They’re fast becoming the FitBitch Mile High club. (ha ha).
But as admirable, if not more so were our runners Eileen Melville, Lilly Van Persie, Pip Henderson, Kate Gibson and Jenny Hards for whom it was their first ever run of this distance.
Through no fault of their own, some of our number didn’t run the entire distance (more later) but let that not detract from anyone’s achievement. Particularly Lilly and Eileen first time half marathon runners.
Special notice to Lilly who wins the award for making the most friends in a half marathon race. No friends to support on the sideline? Lilly managed to get people shouting out to her as she ran!
Unfortunately, while our weekend was an amazing, fantastic experience of shared solidarity, fun and new found friendships, the race itself was very badly organised.
It meant we started the run with walkers who were doing a 7km ‘race’ or amble. It bought a whole new experience to running a race. Forget looking at your pace, it was more a case of using all our wits to dodge past prams, balloons, and small children.
I’d just wished I’d learned how to say ‘Get out of the way’ in Portugese beforehand. Swearing in English and my fly half rugby playing days did come in handy though.
With no stewards on hand to direct the two different races, it meant that when the two routes separated some of us (and many others, including an elite runner from Kenya) went the wrong way (no jokes about my navigation skills please!)
It meant that myself, Jenny, Pip and Kate finished short of our distance which was extremely frustrating.
For the FitBitch trio who have trained so hard all winter from the 5km distance, it was extremely disappointing. But in true FitBitch style, we’re not going to let it get on top of us.
Jenny, Pip and Kate will be running their own ‘Up Yours’ Lisbon Half run tomorrow along the Brighton route. If anyone would like to join them for some or part of the run please tweet me @fbbootcamp.com or leave a comment here.
Aside from the organisation of the run itself though the rest of our four day FitBitch Running Crew weekend was fantastic. Custard tarts, flea market shopping, seafood, sun and sunbathing on the beach. It was a perfect weekend in every other way.
If you are interested in training for our next ‘international’ run get in touch. We’re currently debating Stockholm, Amsterdam, Istanbul, France or Spain.