The Flying Beetroot: Crossing The Finish Line

The Flying Beetroot Finish Line

That’s it. The deed has been done. Your patient five-month following of the adventures of a rustic vegetable has been rewarded. The Half Marathon has been run.

Here’s where we started:

Training runs

And here’s where things stood as I lined up at the start line yesterday:

Training runs 11

Things got a little weird in the last couple of weeks of training due to a little trip to New York City (more on that later):

Thursday’s run got moved to Wednesday so as not to be required to run up and down the aisle of an aeroplane.

Friday’s run was allocated to a Golden Ticket since jet lag and running don’t mix well.

Sunday’s run was two laps of Central Park (just about) in the late afternoon when temperatures were sub-10Β°C. That was a great run and I felt really fresh at the end of it. So fresh I couldn’t feel my arms.

Tuesday’s and Thursday’s runs were done on the treadmill in the hotel gym. IΒ really hate treadmills. I have a whole new appreciation of living in a climate that allows me to run outdoors all year round.

Sunday’s allocated training run was moved to Saturday and called the Scotland Run. Funnest training I’ve ever undertaken.

One more go on the treadmill on Tuesday. Thank all the gods.

Friday’s last training run before the big day was about an hour after we arrived home. It was more of a Cliff Young shuffle than a run but I covered the distance.

And thus on Sunday the Big Day arrived.

Half Marathon 1

I have no photographic evidence of the start because I was alone. Getting a jet-lagged husband and three teenage boys down to a race start line by 8am on a Sunday morning? Not going to happen.

I was grateful I had participated in the Scotland Run the week before (my first ever fun run). Having experienced a start with 8,000 runners, Sunday’s start line with less than 900 runners was a breeze.

The run went reasonably well. I guess asking an ageing body to work its guts out for a couple of hours isn’t going to go completely smoothly. My right hamstring grumbled and my left knee sniggered but it never rose above a mere complaint. But the stitches were bitches. The last one, stabbing me in the chest for the last two kilometres, was nicknamed Cruella De Vil.

While I started alone, there was support when I needed it from the Spreadsheet Enforcer and the Gauntlet Thrower and family arrived at the 17 kilometre mark to provide photographic evidence that I actually ran. Just the Husband and Youngest Son. Eldest Son and Middle Son stayed in bed. No prizes for guessing who is my favourite child.

Half Marathon 2

Very grateful to be allocated the number 96 so if my jet-lagged brain put my bib on upside down it wouldn’t matter.

Half Marathon 3

That singlet is from my days in the Spreadsheet Enforcer’s running group a few years ago. It says “Run Hard, Eat Cake”. That’s my kind of running.

There was a clock at the finish line so I could know my time. I didn’t even see it, I was so focussed on just getting across that line. While my running app gave me a time, I’ve not always been overly confident of its veracity so I waited for the official results.

Half Marathon results

For those not in the know: Finish Time is based on when I crossed the line after the gun went off. If you’re well back in the starting pack, you’re disadvantaged (by 40 seconds in my case). Net Time is based on my actual timing chip registering me crossing the start and finish lines and thus a more accurate picture of how long it took me to run the distance.


Two hours, two minutes and 56 seconds. I was thrilled. I was hoping for two hours in a sort of wishful, wouldn’t-it-be-cool-to-do-it-in-two-hours kind of way so to have come a few minutes close was exciting. Besides, who wants to crack a super time for their first race? It just means too much hard work to beat it next time.

And today I received notification of official photographs in which I appear and fortunately there is one of me crossing the finish line:


I look relieved. I wonder why?

So now I have a week off running, apparently, but then I’d best get back into it. I’ve already booked in for Run ForrestΒ in June. (And no, it has nothing to do with the Tom Hanks movie.)

So thank you all for coming along on the runs through the heat and the rain, through knee troubles and headaches, through frustrations and triumphs. We made it. Now, can I offer you some beetroot relish?

Postscript: For those who may have remembered that as well as the race this weekend, I also had to sing in a concert on Friday night and Saturday and Sunday afternoons, that all went smoothly. And I made the interesting discovery on Friday night while waiting out the back to go on stage that it is actually literally possible to fall asleep standing up. You just don’t stay standing up for long. (It’s okay, I grabbed the back of a chair in front of me before I hit the floor.)



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44 thoughts on “The Flying Beetroot: Crossing The Finish Line

  1. Triumph at last! Well done with your two-hour race! I can’t believe you kept that training up even with the trip to NY! You really are inspirational! (P.S. Do hope you amply rewarded youngest son for showing up and cheering you on! Might inspire the other 2 in future!)

    Liked by 2 people

    • You make a good point. Was too caught up in recovering in time for the concert to fuss over Youngest Son. That must be done. (He was thanked.)
      Had to laugh at Middle Son who asked, when I arrived home, “How did it go?”. To which I naturally replied, “Well, you’d know if you’d bothered to get out of bed!” πŸ˜€

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Congratulations Beetroot! …. You are a machine!!!!

    I would be thrilled to death with your 2 hour finish … without even considering the jet lag and singing obligations leading up to it. I hope you are going to treat yourself like royalty for the next week πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s weird because I’m absolutely stoked with my time but looking at my placings, I’m sitting in the bottom 25% which does not make me so thrilled. Fortunately a friend explained to me before the results came out that this is a race that attracts very serious runners who use it for qualifying times for marathons such as the Boston Marathon so I don’t feel so bad. And I guess a half marathon is less likely than a 10km run to attract the ‘give it a bash’ type of runner.

      But a part of me still wishes I’d tried a bit harder….. :-/


      • Nah – savour the PB … the first race is always a PB πŸ˜‰ … and rejoice in feeling good.
        If it felt good and you had more in the tank to give, it means the 2nd one will likely be a PB too … you’ll know what to expect and how to manage your energy … and not being jet lagged means you’ll likely have more of that to go around!!! πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Well done, indeed! I watched the finish of the half marathon here in Florence yesterday, some of the final finishers looked in absolute agony. (I only did the 5 km walk, t was lovely.)

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Congratulations on the half marathon, almost under 2 hours too! What an achievement and jetlag certainly didn’t stop you in your tracks. I love how in your finishing photo you look like you still got a lot of energy left in you. It came out very well, you in mid-stride. And no other runners around you to crowd your time in the spotlight. You know, if you had raised both arms in the air then, I would have thought you came in first πŸ˜€ Thought for next time… πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’ll bear it in mind. πŸ™‚ I noticed the photographers around the track but not at the finish line. And I didn’t have anyone I knew there either so it was a low key finish from my point of view. Maybe next time I’ll play it up for the crowd. πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Congratulations!! Your time is fantastic and the fact that you crossed an ocean and had 422 other commitments the week prior means you actually ran it 10 minutes faster. πŸ™‚ Well done and I hope you are patting yourself on the back a great deal.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Bloody totally admirable IDIOT.
    The runners among us will be rapt in this.
    And it has to be admitted that I, too, am rapt in this – because you are the most committed person I have ever known, and you never let yourself down. Well, certainly not in MY opinion (but possibly in yours, as per the golden ticket) !
    It must be fairly tricky being a driven person, H … Still, you manage it very, very well.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Treadmills are the worst invention EVER! I loathe and detest them with an undying passion. We are agreed on that one. I hope you are soaking in a bubble bath with a glass of champagne nearby after having had a lovely bowl of fettucine alfredo. Tell me you are doing something nice for yourself. PLEASE?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Whew. It must have been this that’s been keeping me up at night: Not knowing how you did. But now that I know you did SUPERBLY, I’m going to sleep like a post-half-marathoner. One without morning rowing plans.

    Congratulations, Runner.

    Liked by 2 people

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