Awake at 6.30am, and ready to go! Well not quite, but almost. Fuelled by 2 weeks of eating my body weight in cheese and chocolate it was time to hit that track. Getting ready in the cycle club house the atmosphere was friendly and laid back. Some runners were clearly in it for the long haul with packs for water and gels. Jack (my son) and I pinned on our numbers and made sure our laces were tied!
The route was an out and back (not round and round) for as many laps as you wanted. Seven laps was a half marathon, 14 a whole marathon and anything over that an ultra. Because it was out and back it was more interesting as you got to see the surroundings from a different viewpoint. It also meant I got to see Jack several times for a wave of encouragement along the way. Although it started out very grey the clouds did part and the sun came out for a bit. There were people of all ages and abilities – some walking, some running fast, and others doing a run-walk technique. Quite early on I found myself behind a woman wearing a t-shirt proclaiming a prodigious number of marathons. I thought I would keep her in sight for a bit as she was likely to be experienced at pacing and was doing steady 5:30 mins/km. After a couple of laps she stopped for a drink and I went past, but by this time I was able to keep at roughly that pace myself. The drinks/fuel station was well supplied with a variety of water, squash and snacks.
Just as my legs were beginning to complain about the pace I had set myself (sub 2 hour) the 7 laps were up! I love the medal referencing the Rolling Stones and the old EMI record factory in Hayes. It is definitely one of the best medals I have, and sets the bar high for the rest of the year. The goody bag was basically help yourself from a stack of chocolate – what’s not to like?!
I am happy that the challenge I have set myself has started, and started so positively. I’m already looking forward to the next one in February. Jack was happy too, to get going with his running again as he trains for the Manchester marathon in April. Just a reminder that I am raising money to find a cure for Type 1 diabetes on my donation page – raising donations for JDRF. Thanks for your support!