Tag Archives: St Michaels Hospice

August

August began with nothing much on the calendar other than Colour the Coast for St Michael’s hospice, but it ended in the most emotional run I’ve ever been a part of.

Colour The Coast

4km around the park, with my best friends, having paint powder thrown at us, to raise money for a good cause, what’s not to like?

This year they moved the run from the seafront to the park, but the format was the same. Turn up in your official, pristine white t-shirts, and then get pelted with different colour paint at ever kilometre. We had an absolute blast, mostly walking, taking our time, being silly which is what we do best, and covering each other in paint from the paint packets that came in our race packs, as well as getting a good coating at the colour stations, we giggled our way around the course and then joined in the the paint throwing colour clouds at the end. The only negative from it being moved seemed to be that people didn’t really hang around afterwards which was a shame since they had a band playing, and it had the potential to be a good after party, more was needed around the start/end zone to make people stick around I think. A fab morning out with my friends though, and we will, of course, be back again next year!

After Colour the Coast
After Colour the Coast

The 2nd 10k in The Rye Summer Classic Series

Picked up again by Ashley and Kev and taken to rye harbour for the second 10k of a three part race series, it was hot hot hot, and I’d been having real trouble with knee pain, so I was resigned to the fact before the start that I wouldn’t be able to equal what I had managed the last time or have any hope of a new PB.

Before the run, with my boys: Kev, Ash, Phil, Jason and Ben :)
Before the run, with my boys: Kev, Ash, Phil, Jason and Ben 🙂

We set off from the harbour along for the out and back run by the sea along Rye’s nature reserve, I didn’t bother checking my pace on my watch, just plodded along as quickly as my damaged knee would allow. When I finished I was shocked to find that I had actually only run 9.5 seconds slower than I had the previous month, and was really delighted to have a second 10k under my belt at less than 50mins. I’ll be back next month for the final race, a 5km run, to complete the set.

Finished, with my darling husband
Finished, with my darling husband

Dirty Destroyer

Phil bought me entry to only my third OCR of the year as a birthday present, since the race fell 4 days prior to my birthday and I was heading up to Essex to do the 18km race with some of the RPCC guys. Sadly a few days before the race, our trainer and friend Rich Pringle’s young son passed away, devastating all of us who knew him, and causing our whole town to come together in support in amazing way, as well as the wider community, particulalry the in the OCR world where Rich is extremely well known, liked and respected. People were asked to wear red the day of the race, whatever they were doing and when we arrived at dirty dozen this request had been followed on a massive scale. It was a sea of red shirts, shorts and vests as far as the eye could see, and it was moving in a way that can’t really be described, you needed to be there.

The group of 9 of us who would be going and representing RPCC at this race decided that we would wear our black RPCC kit, with red armbands, or shorts, or tops underneath, and we stood, arm in arm, at the front of the first wave, with a mass of red behind us, as we had a minute of silence for Hughie, followed by a minute of applause. Tears fell as we held each other, but the moment was beautiful.

A minute for Hughie
A minute for Hughie

After the warm up, that I actually had to join in as we were foolishly still at the front, it was time to get going. We wished Dean luck as he was off to race properly, and the remaining 8 of us set off at a more leisurely pace, choosing to do this one together as a team. We were enjoying ourselves despite the fact that we seemed to be picking up injuries one by one by one, myself turning my ankle painfully at around the 5km point, leaving me 13 painful km still to hobble through. We happily clambered over the well built obstacles, helping each other and having the kind of fun I had been missing from racing lately. We stopped to pose for some great group shots every time we saw a photographer and enjoyed watching the ribbon of red tops spread along the course.

Bunch of posers
Bunch of posers

Despite our myriad of injuries we managed to make it around the course, and after a cooling dip in the lake we could see the finish line in sight, just a clamber over a trailer with a very ungraceful dismount, a thin ladder climb and a big wall and we would be there. Sadly I was unable to complete the last two obstacles, my ankle finally getting the better of me, I was beginning to struggle to hold up my own weight, but together the 8 of us crossed the line and into the waiting arms of Doug Spence. We took a moment there at the finish, with Doug, and a few more tears spilled down our cheeks. It had been an emotional day and we didn’t need words, just some time together arm in arm again before we headed back into the event village for some warm clothes and a well deserved drink.

At the finish
At the finish

Dirty Dozen had laid on an amazing race, and an amazing tribute to a wonderful little boy and it was a privilege to have been able to be a small part of it, and I’m so glad I had decided to go along.

For the rest of the month though, I fear, it will be rest and Ice packs for me as I try to get my ankle back into shape so I can start training and running again, but I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

(If you have read this and would like to donate to a fund to build a play park in Hughie’s memory, please click on this link: https://www.gofundme.com/2k42bhvt )

 

Colour the Coast 2015

Once again St Michaels Hospice put on a colour run on the Seafront of our beautiful town, so, since it is a really good cause, and it’s good fun, and it’s a 10min walk from my flat I decided to take part for the second year running, along with what seemed like half the people in Hastings that I know.

Some of the RPCC  family looking clean before the run
Some of the RPCC family looking clean before the run

We all arrived pristine in our provided, white, colour the coast t-shirts, but we didn’t stay that way for long, as our race packs also included a couple of packets of paint powder and it didn’t take much time before people were busting them out and we were all getting a coating of multi-coloured paint.

Getting a dose of yellow paint courtesy of Dom Wright
Getting a dose of yellow paint courtesy of Dom Wright

After a considerable amount of time messing around, and a complete disregard for the warm-up, it was almost time to start. As we were gathering towards the start line, our good friend Chris Williams arrived, on crutches. He had fractured his ankle a couple of days before but decided at the last minuet to complete the fun run anyway, along with his beautiful wife Naomi and their eldest daughter. This is when a group of us decided we were all in this together, and that we would walk the 4km course with Chris and his family, and help where and when we could, team work all the way.

Our little team "running" colour the coast
Our little team “running” colour the coast

We made our way slowly up the seafront, the run taking you from the Stade, by the lifeboat station, along to Warrior Square and back again. There was a colour station on the beach each kilometre on the way out, and back again, and for each of these one of the boys gave Chris a piggy-back as shingle is not easy to negotiate on crutches.

Chris getting a Piggy-back through the Pink station
Chris getting a Piggy-back through the Pink station

At the half way point we were feeling the heat from the blazing sunshine, so we nipped off the beaten track into a little shop for a vital mid-race ice cream refreshment stop.

Mid-race Ice cream pit-stop
Mid-race Ice cream pit-stop

After we had re-fuelled, it was time to head back the way we had come, back along the seafront, in and out of the colour stations, getting more and more messy as we made our way back to the lifeboat station.

We ended up being one of the last groups back across the line, but we had had such a blast, and Chris had made it all the way with very little help, I couldn’t be prouder of my friend. Once back we took the paint packets we had left and joined in on the next “colour cloud”. We were counted down from the stage and then paint powder was flung in the air in all directions and a multi-coloured rain of powder was dropped on our heads.

Colour Cloud
Colour Cloud

After jumping around in the colour cloud  we all started to go our separate ways, for me this meant joining up with my best friends Heidi and Garry as well as hubby Phil, and going for a quick dip in the sea to remove some of the paint before we went for a bite to eat then finally heading home for a much needed shower.

Coming out of the sea - not that clean
Coming out of the sea – not that clean

This was such a fun day, again, and for a really good local cause, and there is no doubt that if they run it again next year, we will all once again be gathered ready to get covered in paint powder, next August.

Colour The Coast

The first weekend in August brought a bit of a change of pace in the form of Colour the Coast, a 4km colour run in my home town of Hastings which I was running with a group of my friends and my Mum in aid of local charity St Michaels Hospice.

Race Description

If you have not heard of a colour run before, the basic concept is that you start off nice and clean at the start line, then get pelted with paint powder at different stations throughout the race, getting more and more messy. A few of us had run the Color Run in Brighton the year before and so we knew more or less what to expect.

My Mum and I before the race - nice and clean
My Mum and I before the race – nice and clean

We all met up near the starting point in our new fresh white t-shirts added some decoration to our faces with some brightly coloured face paint brought along by Mel, took the obligatory team “before” picture and then headed over to do the Zumba warm up.

Team before shot - all looking fresh
Team before shot – all looking fresh (L-R Amanda Hopwood, Claire O’Shaughnessy, Garry Stapley, Cat Denning, Helen Carrington, Rowena Tester, Bethan Davies, Jac Ginn, Mel Jones and in front Phil Carrington)

We were towards the back of the warm up area, and this coupled with the placement of one of the speakers, meant we couldn’t really see what was going on, but we did our best to copy the people in front of us.

After the warm up, the made us wait around for about 15-20 mins before they let the first people set off, which defeated the object a little, but eventually they were calling us over to the starting flags.

The Race

The race marshals set us off in bursts of about 50 people and we ended up in the third group to set off. I had been made to promise not to “race” and we set off at a fairly slow but comfortable jog.

The route took us along the seafront of Hastings, with detours onto the beach for each of the four colour stations. A few of us naturally pulled ahead as we ran, but with plenty of room on the beach, we could wait while everyone caught up again before heading through the first colour station and getting pelted with orange paint powder.

Off the beach and back onto the pavement for a longer stretch of running, which again split us up, the second colour station was not until the turning point at the 2km mark. This was also where the water station was, so after getting our second pelting of coloured powder we grabbed some water and waited to re-group.

On the way back down to the start I joined my mum for the jog down to the third colour station, I have to say how proud I am of her, it was really hot and she has never run much other than on a treadmill in the cool basement of her house, and she did brilliantly.

The last two colour stations were relatively close together, we took our peltings, and also stopped to pose for some of the photographers, and a few of us decided to have a bit of a sprint to the finish after the last station – something that would have been easier to do without all the pedestrians. The course was not at all closed off and this did mean you had to navigate spectators, walkers, day trippers and bikes during the run.

After Race Party

After the race you went to a stall set up to one side of where the DJ booth was busting out some quality cheese, to collect packets of paint powder. These would be used in the colour clouds later.

We gathered for the first of these colour clouds, where everyone gets in close together then you are counted down and then you throw your paint powder on command. A cloud of different colour powders rises up – it looks spectacular when you are on the outside of it – we stayed out of the third one to watch – and in the middle, you are enveloped into a colourful fog, and you can’t see anything until it has cleared and you are even more covered in colourful powder than you were before.

Team shot - After along with our no longer clean spectators (Back row L-R Front Row L-R
Team shot – After (along with our no longer clean spectators) 

It was a really fun atmosphere after the run, people were chucking paint everywhere, and even the spectators weren’t safe, ending up almost as covered in paint as the rest of us – and anyone looking too clean got a big messy hug!

This run was really good fun, it was suitable for families, you could even take a pushchair if you wanted, and it was for a really good cause, it’s worth a go if you are in the area next year, I know we will all be there again – any excuse to get messy!

I now have a weekend off, and then it’s on to my first weekend of back to back races – Things are about to get tough.