Just as well for the acclimatisation training in Florida earlier this year (sounds grand – I was just on holiday with the family and went out for a few morning runs)! With the forecast of extremely hot conditions for the Leamington Spa Half-Marathon, this one would need to be treated with the utmost respect.

Arriving at the starting area at 8.30, temperatures were already in the high teens. As the start time of 9.00 am passed it was clear the race was delayed. Never really found out why, but we eventually got underway at 9.45 and already temperatures were touching 20c. As people who know me will tell you, I can be a bit of a chatterbox on the course, but not on this occasion. My energy was reserved exclusively for the hills and heat which reached 26c by the time I finished. A respectable 1:54:01. The slowest to date, but it was another day for finishing lines – not finishing times.


This was the first ever Leamington Spa Half Marathon. Brilliantly marshaled, great start and finish areas, challenging and varied course which all merit a big ‘thank you’ from me for the whole experience. It was the first time I have finished a race soaked from head to toe, without a drop of rain! Thanks to all the villagers and householders along the way with their endless supplies of garden hoses, super soakers and extra water supplies. They were only outdone by the local fire brigade and their hoses at around the 10 mile mark, as always you were a life saver. It was the first time I’ve had a top twenty finish in my category (V55) – ‘20th out of 21?’ asked my 9 year old daughter – ‘Out of 88’ I responded, but she still didn’t seem impressed. Oh, and all on the 1st of July.

Best Moments – getting round without walking. Water, water and of course more water. The support from the spectators throughout and especially the people in Radford, Offchurch, Hunningham, Weston, Chubbington and Leam. Not forgetting the marshals, some of the best I’ve experienced so far, well done in that heat and thank you. Oh, and finishing within 2 minutes of my average in that heat.

Funniest Moments – Seeing the looks on children’s faces who were being allowed free rein with their ‘super soakers’. Meeting Antony, the 1:50 pacer and seeing how enamoured he was with the prospect of dragging some helium balloons around! Looking at a photo of myself immediately after the finish line.


We still have Charity places for people wanting to run the Robin Hood Half Marathon & Mile Challenges on the 29th & 30th of September. Would you like to join us and raise funds to support our work? E-mail us at grahammiller@doubleimpact.org.uk or to find out more visit the charity partners’ info page on the marathon website. For those looking for a shorter distance to run there is the new ‘One Mile Challenge’ this year where you can also raise money for the Charity. More details on both events can be found here.

Thanks to our service users, The Treat Kitchen, Buckles Solicitors and other supporters who are already signed up to run alongside staff from Café Sobar and Double Impact.

If you would like to make a donation to the campaign please click here.


So – it’s 15 down and 5 to go. I can’t quite believe that it’s 15 down and that I am back on schedule at the 9 month mark. I have the Great North Run and the Robin Hood booked in September as numbers 19 and 20. Need to find or decide on 16, 17 and 18 to fit around family time and other commitments. Would you like to decide where I run next? I plan to put out a call on Twitter for suggestions and I’ll post some more updates for you @DI_Recovery & @DI_Runs.

Thanks for reading.

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