Thursday, 31 August 2017

"The Run Reigate was one of the best days of my life"

The Intersport Run Reigate is four years in September. We are proud of collaborating and sponsoring a race that is not only the Best Half Marathon 2017 (with fewer than 5,000 runners) in the country, is a 10K, Kids Race and an social event in Surrey that has helped raise in excess of £500,000 in 3 years for local charity partners and hundreds of UK charities. 

But the running races are your memories as well. That is the reason why we are compiling memories and feelings of the race on our social media in a section called "Your Intersport Run Reigate". We started with the article "Reigate Half Marathon recap" published by Anna Smith-James, known as Anna The Apple, in September of 2016. In that 'repost', Vicky Maher commented us her story, which is more than a comment is a life experience and an inspiration. Now, Vicky, who have lived the Run Reigate from different perspectives: runner, marshall..., has accepted our challenge and she will be the Simply Sports ambassador in this edition. Soon, she will tell us our blog how she is training for the 10K and her experience after the race. Thank you Vicky for sharing it with us and for being our ambassador. Below, we reproduce here her full text about her first Run Reigate:

"I ran Reigate half marathon in 2015 and I can honestly say it was one of the best days of my life. I had never run a half marathon before and whilst I parkrun most Saturdays stepping up from 5k to a half was hard work. Finding time and determination to train was the hardest part but I am not someone who does things by halves and I'm quite competitive with myself so I wanted to give it my best shot. I told myself I should be able to complete it in 2.5 hours and signed up with that goal in mind. 

Vicky Maher, Simply Sports ambassador in the Run Reigate. 

I remember two of my training runs very clearly, both the only occasions where I have been out running and nearly given up. The first was a run through Reigate town and up to Redhill before looping back home. I was around the 7 mile mark and just thought, I can't do this. I was ready to call home and ask for a lift and then thought no, even if you just walk home you can do it. So I carried on. The second time was just two weeks before the big day and I was aiming for 13 miles. I had run down lonesome lane for the first time and when I got to Meath Green it started raining. Within a few minutes it was coming down really heavily (my Bluetooth earphones never recovered!) And I got my phone out to call my husband to collect me and then stopped myself. I realised I was soaked through and actually it couldn't get much worse. Plus it might rain on the day. I carried on and was so chuffed with myself. 

She was supported by her family an her neighbours during the Half 2015 .

So onto the big day. Wow. I remember crowning Cockshott hill on the way out. There were huge crowds and I saw several people I knew and missed many more. I was already going faster than I had intended swept along on the wave of excitement. I already knew the course quite well having been on a water station the first year and living in Sandcross Lane which is on the route. I loved running down lonesome lane, it's so picturesque. I have to say I was grateful for every gel and water station! Coming up the a217 got quite tough, it felt very warm in the full sun and interminably long. My parents live near sidlow bridge and it was lovely to wave to my mum. She said afterwards I looked very relaxed which amazed me, I felt like I was struggling by then. 

Vicky at the finish in 2015.

The water station by the Beehive was very necessary and as I came up Sandcross Lane my spirit was somewhere beneath my feet. Then I saw my neighbours. They had all come out, my family too and they had put a banner up on the house. To hear them all cheering me on sent my spirit soaring and I knew then I could finish it. Coming into Priory park to family and friends waiting for me was just the best. I had done it in 2 hours 13 minutes and won a bottle of prosecco from my lovely colleague who bet me I couldn't get 2 hours 20 mins :-) The prosecco was fab but the bet itself was a real spur for me to push myself. I will always remember the atmosphere on route. So many people out cheering and clapping, kids on driveways handing out jelly babies (lifesavers!). They all adsed to a superb atmosphere and made me proud to live in Reigate. Last year I marshalled and this year I will run the 10k for the first time. Unfortunately I am struggling with an injury so I am not pushing for a fast time but I am determined to be fit enough to get round. I can't wait to be part of Run Reigate again". 

by Vicky Maher (Twitter @VixThatRuns)


  1. Excellent Commitment Vicky and a great blog post to start off your ambassadorship! I'm sure you'll do much better than you suspect this year!

    1. We love her running experience and we agree with you that Vicky will have a great time in 10K this year!