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The Croydon Half Marathon

Reader Lyndsey Chow, 27, from Portsmouth, took on the inaugural Croydon Half Marathon

“ I started running four years ago as I

felt I needed a new challenge. And I secretly had always harboured the idea of running a marathon. But before I tackled the big one, I signed up to a few races along the way, including Race For Life, the Great South Run and the Gosport Half Marathon, to help towards my training for the Sabb Salmon South Down Marathon, which I ran in July 2010. “After completing the marathon I still

continued to run as by now I well and truly had caught the running bug! Even though I love running I still need races planned to help with the motivation of getting out the front door on rainy days. “The Croydon Half Marathon gave me the motivation to push myself a bit more as I had not done a run of over 10 miles since I had completed the marathon over a year ago. “I downloaded a half marathon

training plan, as I find it much easier to stick to a schedule if I have it all written out for me. “I like to train first thing before going

to work, or, like most people, I’ll put it off and not train at all. In preparation for the half, I ran three days in the week, and always did my long run on Sundays. “I felt well prepared and trained, but that doesn’t stop the nerves creeping in on race day. I’d never been to Croydon before and I always have a panic about getting lost and missing the race when


I travel to a new place to run. “To keep the panic and nerves at bay,

we set off with plenty of time to spare. The weather was looking very good for racing and I began to feel calmer. “Fortunately, the race organisers’

instructions were easy to follow and there was no chance of getting lost. We parked up when we spotted the other runners and followed them to pick up our race numbers. “This was the first time I’ve had to get

a race number before the race and I was a bit worried that it would be hectic and take up too much time. But it was very well organised, and there was no waiting around, or time to get nervous! “I was surprised at how good the course was. Croydon is not known for its beauty – more for IKEA! But I have to say, as someone who has a preference for trail races, the route was very pleasant.

“The course is described as undulating with a few challenging hills. It’s two laps, which suited me psychologically. As a trail runner I’m used to hills, but the climb at mile 10 was exactly as they described it, challenging! “I was delighted with my time. I’d hoped to go under two hours, but this was well under. I had a good run, with no problems. And for a race that’s only just started, this event was well organised with a great atmosphere. “After the race, collecting the goody bag and medal was just as smooth and fuss-free as picking up the race number had been. And leaving to go home to Portsmouth was stress and traffic-free, with no congestion at all. I really enjoyed this race and would recommend it to other runners.

n Find out more at www.croydonhalf.


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