Sunday, 28 April 2013

Running Success

Well today saw me and Simon enter our first ever organised run event, the Derby 10K & 3K.

A few months ago Simon and I were having our usual Saturday morning Starbucks whilst our daughter spent an hour at her electric guitar lesson.  Whilst waiting for the freshly made coffee we both spotted a small flyer advertising an upcoming running event around the area local to the aforementioned Starbucks.

The event was a 10K and 3K run-jog-walk around a local football ground; Derby County FC at Pride Park, Derby.  Now at the time of seeing this flyer Simon had managed to keep to a pretty good schedule of runs, despite some appalling British weather.  I on the other hand...not so much!  I too had been plagued by the very snowy winter but also by a rather painful chilblain which had literally stopped me in my tracks.

But as we sat there drinking our coffees we both looked at each other and had the exact same thought...we could do this and do it together.  Well, OK by together I mean Simon could run the 10K and I would cheer him on and then he would join me and help me through the 3K.

So as soon as we got home, we powered up the laptop and enrolled ourselves for the relevant races!  There was no going back now!  And then our thoughts turned as to why we were doing this? Sure the sense of personal achievement would be fantastic but surely we could turn our sporting endeavours to good use.  Perhaps we could raise some money for charity?  But which one? We both knew which charity we wanted to support, one that we had supported before and one that has some close links to our love of Disney.

Previously we had used Simon's artistic talents to help raise money for the WDW Radio Dream Team Project, which raises funds for the Make-A-Wish Foundation USA.  But as we are in the UK we thought we could continue the theme by raising money for the UK Make-A-Wish Foundation.

So back to today, the day for our running!  Through amazing friends we had already raised a fantastic sum of money through sponsorship donations so now it was our turn to live up to our end of the deal and run those kilometers.  So an early start; breakfast at 7.30am...on a Sunday morning...was followed by a short drive to the location of the race. We parked up, and decided to remain in the car as it was absolutely freezing!!  It even started to rain at one point...but thankfully it didn't last long and for the duration of both events it remained dry but windy and cold!  I was glad that I'd decided to get my cold weather running gear back out of the cupboard!!

As race time approached we braved the elements, and joined the crowds and approximately 3500 other 10K runners, and in amongst the crowds we were spotted by my cousin who was also running her first ever 10K race; couldn't believe out of all those faces we managed to meet up, we both knew we would be there but never thought in the sea of people we would actually spot each other.
Me and my cousin, Jennifer
So I left Simon at the starting line and moved down the first straight to see if I could get a glimpse of him running through.  The claxon sounded and a mass of runners flew I know he was in there somewhere but where I don't know.  After all the runners had gone by I made my way over to the football stadium to grab myself a seat and await the finish of the race.  The final leg of the race was a dash along the length of the football field, so I kept my eye on the digital timer as I knew Simon should be finishing around the 45 minute mark.

The first runners entered the stadium and finished with a very impressive 31 minutes. The atmosphere was fantastic with the crowd cheering everyone home, everyone looking for that special someone that they were supporting.  I noticed the timer ticking into the 40 minute mark, so got the camera ready so I could attempt to take some shots of Simon crossing the finish line, I looked up and there he was entering the stadium!  He was running really well and even managed a sprint to line, picking off at least a dozen other runners; I was very impressed and felt really rather proud :)  Quickly I dashed out of the stadium to greet him as he left the runners area, eager to know what his time was as I'd missed the timer!!  So after checking his Nike+ app we knew that he'd done his fastest ever 10K in 42:07 minutes, officially placed 264th out of 3517 runners - absolutely fantastic.
Simon crossing the finish line
A very happy Simon after completing the 10K
So after a brief interlude (sat back in the car trying to keep warm) it was my turn to do my bit (along with Simon to keep me going!).  Now up to this point I had only been back out on the road for a few weeks and  usually managed, at most, around 1 mile without stopping, I would then continue my run with a mix of walking and running.  So I was determined to run for as long as I absolutely could...

I have to say that the atmosphere was great, there was a lovely mix of people from small jogging clubs to individuals to families all determined to have fun and get that 3K completed one way or another :)  So off we set, and after getting used to running with lots of other people, I settled into my running.  I was determined to keep focused on what I was doing and not be put off by others, or try to run faster than I could manage.  With Simon by my side I kept up the pace, occasionally dodging children as they seemed to dart in and out of the crowd at an alarming pace (oh to have their energy!) and kept on running...through 1K...that wasn't too bad...pushing along to the 2K mark but as I approached it I knew that I was going to have to slow down and take a breather, so with 2K completed (non-stop) I slowed to a walk.  I caught my breath, walked for a small amount, dug in my heels and started running again.  I had one more short walk break before rounding the corner to the stadium, and once I could see the finish in sight I was determined to finish strong...I ran down the side of the football pitch and over the finish line in 27:28 minutes with my fastest pace ever :)  I even got a medal - go me!
Me and my medal :)
So, when's the next one?!!

If you would like to add to the money we have already raised for Make-A-Wish Foundation UK please follow this link as at 28th April we had raised £250, which should increase further as Simon's employer are matching every pound (up to £300) that we raise - thank you.

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