Plymouth is such an interesting place to be, especially if you love doing things outdoors and being involved with a large sporting events like the ‘Britain’s Ocean City Half-Marathon’. However, due to lack of training and a bad spell of man-flu (it’s very serious indeed), I was a bit concerned as to whether I would be able to take part this year. Nonetheless, I lace up on the day and ready for the challenge of running the 13.1 miles.
First, I met up with the rest of the runners who are part of the occupational therapy team from the University of Plymouth. It was good to see the academics and my fellow students getting excited about the race with a quick catch up on how my placement was going. Afterwards, we dropped off our bags and headed to the starting line. The weather for the race was very sunny, which was great for spectators, but definitely a challenge for all the runners.
The route involved running through the beautiful Saltram, back towards the city centre and eventually, finishing the race on the Hoe where many spectators cheered us on to cross the finishing line. It’s hard to imagine and describe the atmosphere in a place like Plymouth with a massive event like this; the support from everyone during the run was amazing, and truly reflects the community spirit of Plymouth as a city.
In the past, I have always tried to beat my own race time. However on this occasion, I knew that might not be the case. But I have discovered a new meaning of personal best, which is when you are on the brink of giving up, you still carry on and give it your all! Sometimes it’s hard to understand in the beginning that the whole idea is not to beat other runners (still trying to catch Mo Farah’s time 😁), the real competition is against the little voice inside my head that's told me to quit. This was perhaps the slowest run in comparison to other races that I have participated in during the last few years, but I am still proud of the fact that I have completed the race with sheer determination. Of course, my desire to run a faster time at a half-marathon has not disappeared, the result of this race has only made me even more determined and come back stronger next time.
Very shortly, I will be heading back to my studies and have to knuckle down with a few assignment deadlines that are fast approaching. But the experience from running has taught me, perhaps more than anything else, that there is no reason to fear the starting lines or other new beginnings, you cannot fail for trying and you might surprise yourself.
To finish off this blog, I want to leave you this quote “We generate fears while we sit. We overcome them by action.” – Dr. Henry Link.