by Andrew Turner

Having a ‘significant’ birthday (50th) is always a time to celebrate but also to reflect on the road behind and look forward to the road ahead. In my case, I decided something needed to change as I had settled into a very sedentary lifestyle without any form of exercise from week to week, month to month.

Encouraged by friends, I decided to start running. My first run was on New Year’s Day 2019. I could barely get to the end of the street – less than one kilometre. But with some determination I kept going through the dark days of winter, sometimes getting up at 5.00am and running before work.

However, the greatest improvements have been since joining Cheddar Running Club. The Club has something for everyone at all levels and I would strongly encourage anyone wishing to start or improve their running to come along. Great people, great atmosphere, great coaching.

So to my first half marathon in May 2019. Firstly, I never ever thought I’d run a half. Never ever! Really, never! But with the training and support from the Club, I focussed on completing a half marathon event.

The Sand Bar Half Marathon supports the YMCA. It is run on Manasota Key on the Gulf Coast of south west Florida. The race route follows the beach line without many turns and with much of the course under tree canopy (a big plus in the Florida sun).

However, the heat and humidity was truly brutal and energy-sapping. I hit the ‘wall’ twice and managed to dig deep to get to the finishing line. I was chuffed with a time of 2 hours and 4 minutes.

Categories: Race Report

Joanna Rich

Race reporter and full time muppet fan

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