Why you are a winner no matter what time you crossed the finish line of the Ipswich Half Marathon

Liz Nice completes the Ipswich Half Marathon

Liz Nice completes the Ipswich Half Marathon - Credit: Archant

This was my second Larking Gowen Ipswich half marathon (the first was in 2012) but the course has changed somewhat, writes runner Liz Nice.

I had not realised quite how much until today!

My running buddy Karen and I set off with great enthusiasm.

We’ve been out running twice a week at 6am, as well as at weekends, so we felt reasonably well prepared, although we hadn’t run further than eight miles in one stretch.

The weather was bright and sunny which put us in a good mood but only for about two miles.

Then I started to wish it had rained as the sweat started dripping and I realised just how hilly the course really is.

There are ups and downs, twists and turns, and just when you think you are home free on a flat bit, another hill pops up out of nowhere and you find yourself thinking: ‘Seriously? This course has got to be a joke!’

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After enduring Constitution Hill the first time round however, I felt ready for anything, which was just as well, because I had to do it again – and I swear it had steepened the second time round.

Highlights were the big, long, FLAT stretch through Christchurch park when you realise just how beautiful Ipswich really is.

And the crowd was fantastic. Thanks especially to the three people who gave me jelly babies – a great boost – and to all those who cheered me along, even those whose cheer sounded a bit more like an apology!

Thanks to friends who stood on the downhill stretches and saw me flying.

And to friends who saw me on the uphills?

Let us never speak of this again.

The final stretch was a great thrill as I pounded in at about 2 hours 25 – my worst time ever but never mind.

As one man shouted, as I plodded past him half way round, ‘Your pace, your race.’

He was right.

As I crossed the finish line, as far as I was concerned, I’d won.