Race for Life Hastings 10km

On a nice, bright and warm Sunday morning I took myself for a walk down to the park and signed up last minute for the 10km distance of the local Race for Life. After turning my bad ankle, yet again, at a training session I had wanted to wait and see how strong I was feeling before deciding on the distance. I had arranged to meet my friend and training partner Linda before the race and we decided to run together.

With Linda and some of the other RPCC girls before the start
With Linda and some of the other RPCC girls, Sarah, Sara, Lucy and Lucy before the start

As they called over the runners to the start line, before the joggers and walkers, we edged our way as close to the start point as possible, before they counted us down and we set off.

Linda and I edged around the runners at the front, leaving only a few people in front of us, as we made our way on our first lap of the park. It was a route I’m now fairly familiar with after our frequent virtual runs round the park. We pushed up the hill, around the play park where people were cheering and  we edged around a few more people but as we headed towards the reservoir around the back of the park we heard some people gaining on us, this turned out to be fellow RPCCer Amy Moore and her friend Kelly. They breezed past us, and Linda turned to me and said “They are going to be first, we are going to come joint second!”

As we made our way back down towards the main part of the park, we picked up a bit of speed down a hill, but my ankle was aching a bit, I might have moaned that I wished I had only signed up for one lap, but we pushed on, Linda never once looking annoyed at me slowing the pace. We ran around the end of the park back up towards the start line and took the left hand path to continue for a second lap, the Heart FM MC giving us a shout out from the stage as we ran past.

As we started our second lap and hit the worst hill the park has to offer, I felt like I was really struggling, with some cramp in my stomach and a dull ache in my ankle, but Linda wouldn’t let me stop and insisted we keep running. She was determined no one was overtaking us, and that we would be finishing together. As we got around the back of the play park for the second time we started to catch up with the people that were walking, this slowed us down as we weaved in and out of people yelling “excuse me, excuse me” as we passed.

The people we passed were really encouraging, cheering us on as we ran past them. The closer we got to the finish, the more we had to dodge other people, the main part of the park being particularly busy with both participants and spectators. As we headed towards the finish for the final time, we grabbed hands and sprinted to the end. We hadn’t been passed and so had completed in second place behind Amy and Kelly for the 10km distance.

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Finished joint 2nd with Linda, after Amy and Kelly who were joint 1st

We had managed to finish the run in 52mins which is only one minute slower than my quickest 10km, despite the weaving around people and painful ankle, Linda having really made me work as she is a much faster runner than me. This was the first time I have run Race for Life and I really enjoyed it, running with Linda is always good fun and it was a lovely day, with the added bonus that it is a run for charity, raising vital funds for cancer research, a cause very close to my heart.

There was a lovely atmosphere in the park, from the hundreds of ladies running, jogging or walking in pink, to the support from the spectators, and it’s defiantly a run I would do again and encourage others to take part in too.

Once we were finished we hung around in the park enjoying the sunshine, until hunger got the better of us and we headed off our separate ways to go home and get something eat!

Linda and I enjoying the sun in the park
Linda and I enjoying the sun in the park

 

Bedgbury Trailblazer 10km

Another weekend, another race. A last minute decision after receiving a discount code by email for a late sign up to run either the 10km or half marathon distance at the Bedgbury Trailblazer running event put on by Rat Race. I chose the 10km distance as my ankle injury is still not completely healed. Hubby Phil decided to run too, along with some of my other more usual race partners, Kev Coda, Vince James and Linda Zeberga.

At the start of the Bedgbury 10km with Vince, Kev, Phil and Linda
At the start of the Bedgbury 10km with Vince, Kev, Phil and Linda

We arrived a little later than we had planned due to some slow drivers on the A21, but the race was supremely well organised, with slick registration, where you collected your bib number, timing chip, a good quality t-shirt courtesy of 2-XU, a rat race wrag, and a wrist band with your wave number on that you got to keep at the end of the race. After collecting our goodies and dropping them back at the car, we just about made it to the start line on time.

Running with Vince
Running with Vince

We set off, Phil quickly ran on ahead, but Vince, Kev and Linda all stuck with me at a slower pace, as we started to make our way around the trails. The run was over nice terrain, gravely paths, grass and a little bit of muddy ground. There was, as is customary, a certain amount of messing around, with Kev testing out his new go-pro stick and Vince bringing along his camera to get some video clips and pictures, but the run was lovely, the weather was spectacular and the company was second to none.

Posing for a mid-race photo with Linda and Kev
Posing for a mid-race photo with Linda and Kev

The run was through some really lovely scenery, past a couple of very pretty lakes, and through the trees. I was finding the running a bit tough going, having not covered that distance for a while, but my ankle was holding up ok, my main problem other than my fitness coming from my old friends blisters (holes in my socks – time for some kit shopping perhaps!), the others kept me going though, always waiting for me to catch up if I fell behind.

Quick snap with Linda and Vince
Quick snap with Linda and Vince

Two well placed water stations kept us hydrated and were welcome as the day was hot, and the course was well marked and marshalled so it was easy to follow, with markers each kilometre, as well as mile markers for the people running the half marathon, and at the splitting point it was really well signposted  with signs telling you which way to go and signs further on confirming which route you were on.

The course had several up and downhill sections but nothing too tough until the very last section which had a pretty steep hill to get up towards the finish line. Linda was waiting for me at the top, grabbed my hand and we ran to the finish together, crossing one mat we thought  we were done, hugged and were then told by a spectator that we needed to keep moving further up the hill. It was only a tiny bit further but I was struggling by then, Linda took my hand again and we ran it in together, picking up our medals, goody bags and a curly wurly . The goody bags were pretty amazing filled with drinks, food and a magazine, which once added to the medal, t-shirt, wrag and wrist band we had already received made the race entry an absolute bargin.

Finished with Vince, Kev, Linda and Phil
Finished with Vince, Kev, Linda and Phil

We stopped for a few photos and a stretch in the sunshine by the car before heading for home. I would really recommend this if you want a nice trail run, it was a lovely run and with the company and beautiful weather this was a really good day out.

Muddy Duck Virtual 5 miles

Another Monday evening, and after our usual training a group of us took on another virtual run. This one was organised by the UK.OCR Facebook group to raise money for the Always With a Smile foundation.

Before with Vince James, Zoey Jenks, Sinead Jeavons, Dom Wright and Kev Coda
Before with Vince James, Zoey Jenks, Sinead Jeavons, Dom Wright and Kev Coda

The criteria for this run was to complete a 5 mile run that included water and a climb. We decided to use the park again as a lot of us are carrying injures and the park has nice even paths to run on. We started out on our usual route adding in extra sections to make up the distance.

We settled into an easy pace as we jogged around the park, taking in some of the back paths and trail routes until we found our way to a waterfall which is right at the back end of the park. Here we stopped to take some photos and fulfil the water element of our run. It was quite dark in the trees though, so we decided to try and get a group shot later in a stream more out in the open.

At the waterfall with Dom and Kev
At the waterfall with Dom and Kev

We headed back through the park, around the reservoir and back towards the main section of the park. As we came back around towards the bandstand we stopped for a splash in the stream to get a better water picture.

Stream super selfie
Stream super selfie

Once we had clambered back out of the stream we carried on down the path past the bandstand to where there is a handy wall outside the gents toilets, classy, but it’s something to climb, so up we went, first the boys then us girls, to get some photos.

On the wall with Sinead and Zoey
On the wall with Sinead and Zoey

Once we had all clambered down, after I had suffered a mild panic attack and been rescued by Dom and Kev, we carried on round the front of the park, looping back around the bandstand once more to make up the distance. We finished off with a quick finishers photo, then headed back home. Another virtual run well done.

Finished
Finished