I was one of the first to arrive and it was cold and windy, though the sun was trying to come out. They had a stage set up with a guy from local radio to warm up the crowd, cheerleaders and an aerobic warm-up for the racers! The event organizer also called for a minute silence to remember those affected by cancer which was a really special touch. Remembrance was also acknowledged in the cards we were given to personalise and stick to our backs. This was mine, but there were so many other kind and inspiring messages. With over 800 entrants they has to arrange the start line according to runners, joggers and walkers. I considered myself on the border between jogging and running, but James (my boyfriend) told me to defninitely go for the runners, and the next thing I knew I was in the second row!
There was a huge count down from 10 and we went off! I hadn't planned how I wanted to start but I didn't want to burn out so I let the first 10 or so get away, before settling into a pace and checking out the runners ahead of me and whether or not they were worth overtaking ;-) I took a couple and some other took me, but overall I just tried to keep my pace steady, despite the couple of hills and changing winds, and enjoy the experience....which I did HUGELY!
And I crossed the line before 51 minutes - this massively surprised me, as I was expecting a time between 55 and 60 minutes, and this also put me in 13th place.
|I swiped this from http://www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk/Cheltenham-Race-Life-2012-5k-10k-pictures/story-16474360-detail/story.html. There are some similarly sweaty pictures on my mum's camera but I can't upload them yet.|
I was a very happy girl! And to top it all, I have raised around £600 for the cause (including gift aid from the government).
And in the evening to celebrate my run, and mine and James' graduation results, my mum threw a BBQ party, and there was no fake meat in sight - plenty of veggie kebabs, corn on the cobs, mushrooms and halloumi, a gorgeous butterbean bake, 'chips and dips', followed by a cute 'well done' cupcake and an awesome baked cheesecake!
It was an incredible day, and I'll be signing up for next year's race very soon! If you're looking for a race to step up your fitness goals,check out the Cancer research UK site and see if there's one coming up near you - they run throughout the summer!