Race 14 — The North London Half Marathon, Sunday March 20, 2016

When I signed up earlier this year to run the North London Half Marathon, the reviews said that the race was a challenging terrain full of hills. Given that my last race at Hampton Court was flat, I thought I could do with a good challenge in the next one. What they claimed was indeed true to the very last mile — hills, hills and more hills but I’m glad this was a part of my Fortyby40 challenge.

Getting to this race was really easy for me. I had to hop onto the Metropolitan line and it was just one stop away to Wembley Park Station. The race village and start was just 10 minutes away. Getting to a toilet was tough given the long lines, but I managed to use one just before warm up. This time I got into the 1:45–2:00hr pen in the hope that I could get to the start line quickly. The race itself started on an elevation that led onto the first hill. There were many hills along the route making the run really challenging for me. I must say however that for the past 3 weeks I had been training only on hilly terrains in Hampstead, the Heath and in Parliament Hill and that really helped. Mentally too, I was prepared as I has read the reviews and had been warned of the deadly hills. At mile 7, at about the halfway mark we were in the Allianz Park, the home ground to the Rugby team — Saracens. Getting there and running a lap around the field was a great midway motivator. The last 5 miles especially mile 10 to 12 was challenging with steep hills, but I powered through. The finish line was inside the Wembley Football Stadium and it was simply fantastic. Just crossing the line here made all the hills worth it. The medal was great and overall I felt I ran a good race. The timing was not great (2:16) but given the hills this was happily acceptable. Here are some images from Wembley stadium and I’m so glad this race was a part of my challenge.

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