So as many of you know running is my passion, its where I de-stress and sort out my head space. I didn't always love running but now I get grumpy if I don’t manage to get out a few times a week. It therefore seemed only natural to encourage others to enjoy this wonderful sport as much as I do. Well this is how the on-mass entry to the London Winter 10km fun run happened.
The winter months can be really hard to train in – its wet, cold and sometimes icy and just not encouraging to go outside, let alone try and manage a training run. Therefore, I decided to enter the winter run as something to keep me motivated over the winter. The winter run offered team places at a 5 for 4 peoples entry fee so I thought why not see if I could encourage a few clients to enter with me – well after some encouragement and arm twisting I managed to get 3 teams together – yes I managed to get 15 people to sign up for a cold run in Feb!! Even I was surprised! There were even 4 people for whom this would be their first 10km (or race even).
In the run up to the event, everyone was sent a training plan and regular encouragement to see how they were getting on. All seemed to be going well – everyone managed to stick to their plan and was keen on completing the event. Well that’s what they told me their coach anyway.
The week before the event I still hadn’t received all of the race packs which to be honest was slightly worrying me – what if they didn’t arrive on time, what if they didn’t arrive at all?! So I dutifully range the race organisers who informed me they had been sent weeks ago – so they must be lost in the post, so they would send me some new ones. I was so pleased to see the post lady on the Friday before the race bringing me these blasted race packs I nearly gave her a hug!
Sunday 4th Feb was race day – those that know we will realise I don’t like being late or even possibly being late. So my poor clients were told to meet me at 6am (Yes 6am on a Sunday) to travel up to London on the Oxford tube. I was convinced with 16,000 runners descending on London it was going to be chaos and we just couldn’t be late. I was amazed how punctual everyone was and how cheery they all were – although there were a few nervous smiles as the morning wore on.
As we made our way to London, some slept on the tube and others chatted, but I realised I may have gotten them out of bed a little early – we were in Victoria by 7.45am and the race didn’t start till 10am! Still I thought the underground would be heaving so we still needed to march on through. The tube station was busy but even me as a country bumpkin could manage with the lack of crowds. I had to be rescued by my clients to get me across London and how to use the contactless card payment thing in the underground – this was way out of my comfort zone (I don’t get out much). Once at the Trafalgar square I calmed down – my mission was complete, I had gotten my clients to the start line and now it was all on them. The running part was easy.
As I sent one lot off to the start I received a message from another client who was travelling up on her own – she had forgotten her race pack – did I have a spare?! Panic set in, but I had it covered, one runner was ill and I had their race pack – however, the spare was for a male, the client in need was female! The organisers were great and a new pack was issued – I was nearly there, only 4 more people to get to the start line – mission nearly complete!
My poor husband was also brought along on this mission – as literally bag man – he stood in Trafalgar square for 1 and a half hours literally covered in bags and coats. He loves his wife really – I promised a pint or two at the end!
The race was excellent – a really fun event, ice and cold themed with penguins, husky dogs, polar bears and more on route to cheer you on. I was racing for a PB but the number of people doing the event and the penguins on route made it a little difficult to get around smoothly! I nearly swore at one of the penguins who obviously wasn’t going to get out of my way and wanted a high five on the course!
Excellent times and results all round and definitely one for the agenda next year – brilliant for a first 10km. The chatter on the way back was thoroughly excited but tired, and asking what I was organising next. I think we have a regular racing team looking forward to an exciting racing year – its nice for me to see my clients do so well and enjoy the sport I love, and more importantly I have play mates to go to races with – always a bonus.
Watch this space for the next running event.
The next walking event is 18th March walking Pen y Fan in the Brecon Beacons as the first official training walk for the 3 peaks challenge in June.