So after writing my post yesterday about What’s Next?, I somehow ended up taking part in a race yesterday!
One of my club mates had signed up to this with her sister a while back, and in conversation on Thursday after run club she had said that her sister was ill and wasn’t sure she would be able to take part. Without engaging my brain, I said ‘Maybe I could take her place?” So, at 4pm Saturday my phone flicked up a new message, Do you want my sisters place for tomorrow?
Cue, PANIC. I like the idea of running it, but would my legs allow me too? I couldn’t run under someone else’s name, so would they allow me to transfer it? So I tweeted them, emailed, wrote on their Facebook page frantically trying to find out whether I could transfer the place. NO REPLY. I went to bed stressing not knowing if I would be taking part or not. I decided to get over to the race early to find out if I could. I had read somewhere that to gain a place you would have to be there at 8am. The race didn’t start until 12 noon, but at 7:59am I was standing first in the queue. By 8:05am I was holding onto my race number, semi dazed that I was running a race that day!
I quickly located a shop and bought croissants and bananas. There is nothing classier than eating your breakfast on a park bench!
Date: Sunday 8th May 2016
Time: 12 noon. Not my most favourite time to start a race, but when it is coordinated across SIX continents, I suppose you just have to go with it!
Weather: VERY, VERY, VERY HOT!
Course: The event started in Parkers Piece, and headed through the town centre and out into the country. The route took us past the historic university and the over the River Cam. It was fairly flat, with the exception of the incline at mile 2, that seemed to go on forever! The support from the local community was awesome, many out supporting with hose pipes, helping the runners to keep cool. All the roads were closed and with the exception of the start, there was plenty of room to run. There was a water station at 5.5KM, which seemed a long way from the start considering the heat, and one other that I came across around 9KM. The drink stations were well stocked with water, Red Bull, orange slices, bananas and jelly beans.
My race: If you have not heard of this race before, it is a little bit different from others. There isn’t a finish line as such. Your distance depends upon your pace, as you are chased down by the Chasers Car, and when it overtakes you, that is when your race finishes. I didn’t really have any pace or distance in mind, I just ran and waited to see what how my body would respond. I knew my legs were not going to be in a fit state to run at any speed, London was only 2 weeks ago. I have read lots about runners getting injured after running marathons as they don’t give their bodies enough time to recover. So I suppose my plan was to run sensibly and not get injured. As always, I started too fast, but it wasn’t too bad, I found it very tough from 5K onwards. The heat was relentless and my legs were just full of marathon, so I adopted a run/walk strategy towards the end, but was glad when I got to 10K and relieved when the car caught me at 10.69KM. Funny though, I was shuffling as I heard the car approach, but my competitive streak kicked in and I definitely upped my pace at the end to try and stay ahead of the car.
Lesson learned: Running in heat is hard! Body Glide is awesome; I wore my RMR Skort and the use of body glide protected my thighs 🙂
- The race was exciting as it was a little bit different and the link across the world was special.
- The fun relaxed atmosphere around the whole race.
- The local support.
- With the exception of the hill, the course was lovely.
- The lack of interaction on social media the night before the race. If you have social media, make sure you have people manning it. I would have had to get there so ridiculously early if I’d know I could have transferred the place.
- They could have put a few more water stations in due to the hot weather.
- They had different coloured starts, I assume based on pace, but they didn’t check where runners were going, so the start was a little chaotic.
- The medal was a little disappointing.
I feature in the video around 1:28 🙂