Sunday, 7 October 2012

Brussels Welcomes.... PWR

I was looking forward to my trip to Brussels for months and when I planned it I just booked the half as something to do to keep me out of my brothers hair for a few hours after descending on him to stay for a long weekend.

Upon arrival on Friday morning, my steely determination embedded through my personal training to push myself harder had deteriorated as we ate out for every meal, drinking cocktails, and supplementing this between meal times with numerous treats from the many chocolatiers in Brussels. 

Drinking bubbly on Saturday night as we ate cheese and some Lebanese food I started to wonder what was really possible in the half marathon. The most important thing to me was a visit to see my big bro and the half was an added bonus but that didn't mean I wasn't going to give it a good go.

Arriving silly early at the start line I was happy that I hadn't missed the start of the marathon, I positioned myself so that I could see fellow PWR runners Rob and Sonja, before long there was a loud echoing crack of a cannon and the marathon had begun, before long I saw the others and gave them a shout out.
The next 90 minutes was pretty boring but stress free as I pootled around trying to stay warm in the sun (although it was about 5 degrees). 

I lined up to start near an older man who started chatting to me in French, I did my best but I'm sure asking where the bank was or if he could give me a cheese and ham sandwich wouldn't have been the greatest help at this point! Throughout the race he was to appear several more times on my heels shouting ahhhh madam and waving at me.

The first challenge, not forgetting the cobbles was the many tunnels we passed through, it was a bit like a scene from 28 days later and I had to remember these were not Zombies chasing me but fellow runners. Still I think I did up my speed a little just in case someone tried to eat my flesh. This played havoc with my Garmin but it seemed to sort itself out each time I emerged. I am doubtful, however, that my top running speed was indeed 26mph.

The water stations were well supplied and even had bananas at one stop. This concerned me though as banana's (if every cartoon ever made is to be believed) are a disaster if on the road and it is only a matter of time before someone slips, as they are notorious for this so I proceeded with caution for fear of flying upright and landing on my butt with a thud as little birds began to twitter around me head as I sat dazed. I made it through unscathed.

I had said to my brother the night before that if I approached the finish line and a PB was not going to be possible then I would Gangnam Style dance across the finish line. My opportunity came sooner than this at about 19km when I had a clear run at a photographer so began my funky moves. He got the shot and also had a good old chuckle... pleased to have made him smile and fulfilled my promised I continued with a big smile on my face... not far to go. 

Before long we hits cobbles on the course again and I was forced to slow a little for the sake of safety but knowing how close we were was giving me a speed boost. I had run well and strong throughout, as I turned into the Grand Place and the final stretch I saw my brother there to cheer me on bring a huge smile to my face. Knowing he was there to support I once again danced gangnam style over the finish line and collected my medal.

I had the course a little long but overall this was the second best haf marathon time I had run and with no where near the run training I would normally do so I was delighted and we celebrated in the Hard Rock cafe with more cocktails! Great race and will def be back for more!


  1. Well done Liz, I love Brussels however I do not like the cobble stones there but I do like the food and cocktails

    1. I reckon it was only about 1 mile total on cobblestones so no biggy! (would have been bad if raining though)