At the end of last year, a number of club members rather rashly agreed to run the Reading Half Marathon. As the weeks went by, runners were left at the road with various injuries and illnesses. But a few persevered, and this is my report on running my first, and possibly last, half marathon.

I arrived at the Madejski Stadium along with hundreds of other people with a feeling of euphoria. Not only was I running my first half marathon but it was also our first wedding anniversary for which Clive gave me an ipod so I could listen to music whilst running.

The time had come for us to set off. With earphones in place and Clive waving me off, I started with a fast walk which then increased to a gentle jog and then a run. The first five miles were fine, then the pain started. My legs began to ache and I knew that once I got past this pain threshold I would be fine. Not only did I have music to keep me going (much to the despair of others as I found myself singing along to the songs which resulted in a few unappreciative looks) but unknown to me Clive and friends also recorded messages of ncouragement between the songs.

The streets were crowded with people cheering us on, the pavements full of empty drinks bottles, there was a buzz in the air. I can recall running past the Nags Head in Russell street and to my amazement there was a table with cups of beer, for those brave enough to drink it. Me, I just kept running.

At times when I felt myself weakening and struggling with the pain, shouts of encouragement from the crowds inspired me on. The final stage of the run took you into Madejski Stadium where crowds were cheering and there were huge screens on which you could see yourself entering the stadium. I had completed the course and with my medal round my neck, feeling tired and aching but totally pleased with myself, I made my way over to Clive who then took me home. I had a rest before spending the evening out with friends from the diving club, some who had also completed the run, at an Indian Restaurant with my medal in hand. All in all it was a perfect day.

Would I recommend you do it…………………YES.

Would I do it again………………….ABSOLUTELY NOT.