I took an early bus from London which as expected was full of Oxford Half Marathon runners. It is more confirming to see others waiting at the same stop, taking the same bus, going the same direction. When in Oxford, it was a short walk past the start/finish line to the Race Village. There I was able to change, meet my friend and give my bag away just before heading back to the start line.
The rather late start time (10 am) was delayed even more. Not due to organisational issues, but to help those who were stuck due to train delays. We slowly started crossing the start line 15 minutes later. However few meters ahead the road was “clogged” around the narrow corner and it was incredibly difficult to pass slower runners ahead and even had to stop for a moment.
When I had a chance, I started kicking and ramping up the pace. All I needed was to keep it up. The first kilometre was especially beautiful as it was in the middle of Oxford town center, past Oxford University buildings, the Sheldonian Theatre and the Museum of National History. This soon was replaced by something more like a long road out of town and back.
The signs showing miles 10, 9 and 8 at the very begging of the race very very confusing. At some point I even though it was counting down (which would have been very unusual). But then there were signs of miles 2, 3, 4 and 5 in between – I knew I will have to run past these places again. It reminded my of Prague Marathon, which had a similarly repetitive course. At least Oxford Half marathon – was a flat and easy race.
On the way back, around mile 10 and 11, I ran past the Kellogg College and entered the Oxford University Parks – when I realised that I will be able to finish strong. I sped up using all the energy I had as I ran back into town, past the Radcliff Camera and finished in 1 hour 44 minutes and 56 seconds (my second best half marathon time).