Couch to 21k: the finish line

Faculty: Science and Engineering
Category: Sport

7 March 2018

Man posing with medal after the Cambridge Half Marathon

In the last few days before the Cambridge Half Marathon I was so nervous and excited I couldn’t wait for it.

I tapered my training down in the week before and I couldn’t have done any more preparation so I just wanted to do it as soon as I could.

The night before the race felt like Christmas Eve because I was so excited I couldn’t sleep but eventually the day of the race was here and this what the last few months of training had been building up to.

Arriving on Midsummer’s Common was quite overwhelming because there were thousands of other people there but I managed to find some other Anglia Ruskin runners in their green t-shirts to take a group photo with before the race.

Group of ARU students and staff posing before the Cambridge Half Marathon

I was in the last wave due to the expected time I had put down so it took a while for us to get going whilst we waited for the faster people to start.

Eventually we were off and as I crossed the start line I immediately felt a massive adrenaline rush seeing hundreds of people cheering us on as we ran.

I struggled to find a steady rhythm in the first couple of kilometres because there were so many people in front of me but I still continued to enjoy the run and the atmosphere as I made my way into the city centre.

Pacing myself got easier as the race wore on as there was more space and before I knew it I was past King’s College and running towards Trumpington.

People running in front of Kings College at the Cambridge Half Marathon

Around the halfway mark in Grantchester, the race quietened down at times because there were less people watching.

It was hard but I remembered a piece of advice that I had been given which was when it gets tough just remember why you’re doing the half marathon and keep running.

I made my way back towards the city centre and with the atmosphere starting to build up again I was excited and more motivated than ever to finish the race.

Even though my legs were aching during the last half an hour, I focused my mind on the reasons why I entered and the thought of the finish line.

In the last couple of kilometres there was a steep bridge which was a struggle to get over but I knew that if I started walking then it would be even harder to start running again.

I kept going and I could see we were getting close to the end as the route goes back on itself.

When I turned the final corner, I saw the finish line at the other end of Victoria Avenue, I mustered all the energy I could to attempt a sprint finish.

I ran as fast as I could to the end and after crossing the line I felt on top of the world! I had just completed my first half marathon in a time of 1:53:53.

I was over the moon with my time and I’ve never felt so much self-satisfaction than I did in that moment because all my hard work in training had paid off.

Training for the Cambridge Half Marathon and actually running it on the day has been one of the most incredible experiences of my life.

It’s something that I never considered before joining ARU in September to be honest not something I thought I could do.

There has been hard moments but overall I’ve loved it and I definitely want to continue running as a hobby.

I’ve already signed up for some more 10Ks and half marathons later this year and I can’t wait to get some new PBs!

By Karan Gadhia


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