10 things I learned from my first half marathon

I ran Run to the Beat yesterday, my first half marathon, raising sponsorship for Child’s i Foundation. Here’s ten things I learned in the process.
Me with medal.

1. It’s hard

This might seem obvious, but running for 13.1 miles without stopping is really, really difficult. So are the long training runs. Today (the day after the race), I can barely walk. If your charity has sponsored runners, they probably feel the same.

2. It’s time consuming

All the training runs take up lots of time, and mean you can’t drink much the night before each one. I probably underestimated the time required at the beginning.

3. Cheering really helps

So many people lined the route to cheer on people they don’t even know. I wrote my name on my top, which led to people chanting, “Matt-y! Matt-y!” round the route. At mile 10, one child even shouted, “Go on Matty, you inspire me!”. I ran the last few miles a lot faster!

4. People are supportive

The support of friends and loved ones was amazing, both before and after the race. Just brilliant.

5. People are generous

I was bowled over by how many people donated on my page, over 50 and counting. People still want to support charities.

6. Text donations are great

Nearly half my donations were by text. It’s so much quicker and easier than by credit card.

7. The Twitter community are especially generous

I got lots of donations from people I know professionally and through Twitter. Incredible generosity.

8. Emails from the charity really help

Teri from Child’s i Foundation (who ran the race herself) sent occasional emails to our tiny team of ten runners, many of whom didn’t know each other, with training tips, info and encouragement. It created a brilliant sense of virtual camaraderie.

9. People are happy to pass on their knowledge

I got lots of training tips from some very lovely people who’d run marathons and half marathons before. There’s still nothing like passing on knowledge.

10. It could be addictive

My time was just over two hours. I want to get it under two hours. So that probably was not my last half marathon, and no doubt there will be another ten lessons to learn next time…

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3 Responses to “10 things I learned from my first half marathon”

  1. Kevin Baughen 09/09/2013 at 8:40 am #

    Well done Matt and I have to agree with you about the generosity of the Twitter universe in particular. It’s not something you see studied or researched very often but I really do see the network of professional folks on Twitter supporting each other with both ideas and money… wonder if anyone saw that coming?

    Congrats again fella.

  2. Louise Gibson 09/17/2013 at 8:33 pm #

    Congratulations Matt! Very good time & sounds as if you are thinking about your next 1/2!

    • CharityChap 09/29/2013 at 9:43 pm #

      Thanks Louise! Definitely am, though we’re coming to the end of running season, so it might be a while yet…

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