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I’ve just got back from running the Race for Life at Trent Park in Enfield and I had such a great time. For those that don’t know, Race for Life is an event run by Cancer Research UK with support from Tesco. It’s for women only – you raise money for Cancer Research and run 5km to celebrate / commemorate all those who have beaten cancer or we have lost to cancer. There are so many different races all around the UK so there is bound to be one near you (if you life in the UK!) I decided to run the one in Enfield as it is so close to where I live. I have been training for this for about a month and a half, with my average time being just over 30 mins. I was confident that I could run under that today…..stay tuned to see how I did!
So yesterday I prepared myself for the race. I set out all that I needed to take with me – water, iPod, spare shoes, a towel and my camera. I also stapled, we had no safety pins(!) my runners number and message to my t-shirt.
I was so nervous last night as this would be my first proper race, I didn’t quite know what to expect……
This is such a great breakfast to have before running as it doesn’t sit heavy in my stomach and fuels me well. I didn’t get really hungry until we were driving back from the race. After breakfast I put on my running gear and got my things together and we were off!
It took us ages to find a parking space as all the roads near the park were closed and police were standing in them to make sure no-one parked down them. Once we finally found a place to park we walked up to the park. There was such a lot of pink on show!! Here are a few pictures to give you an idea of the atmosphere:After a quick warm up we were split into three groups: runners, joggers and walkers. The runners group was meat to be for people who would run all the way and aim to do it in under 30 mins. I decided to go in this group as I knew that this is what I wanted to do. Let me tell you though, so many people in this group did NOT run all the way, some were walking before the 1km mark!! I wasn’t too far back in this group and crossed the start line about 15 secs after the start of the race – I timed myself on my iPod so I could get my actual time.
The actual race was so good – we ran through the woods and then out onto some grassy area, it was very multi-terrain! It started off ok with a run down a long road, followed by running downhill – yay! I did feel that I started off quite quickly to keep up with some of the people around me. I was worried that I had set off too quickly but I was feeling ok…..that was until the hills started! I powered up the first hill but had to stop for a short walk at the top to rest! It was draining! That was about 15 mins into the race so I thought ‘oh that’s good, I’m about halfway’. I hadn’t seen any markers as I was running so didn’t really know how far we had actually gone. But around the next corner was a marker – 3km. I made it there in about 17 mins so was pleased that my 30 min goal was still on.
The grass area was great as it was downhill for the majority of it so I got a bit of a break there and passed a lot of people. But the worst was still to come! As we ran down the hill there was a marshall telling everyone their positions, I was no 76! I was so pleased. He also said that there was 500m to go…..so not true! That was the longest 500m I’ve ever run, it was all uphill! I had to stop again as I felt very dodgy all of a sudden, too much water I think, so was passed by a lot of people. However, when I could see the finish line was close I started to run again and did pass a few of those that had passed me. The finish line was the start (if that makes sense!) and we had to run round a corner onto the road. When I turned the corner I could see that the time said 29.38 so I sprinted down the final 100m or so!! I had to get under 30 mins! When I crossed the line their timer said 29.45 mins but as I stopped my iPod my actual time was 29.31 mins!!
I am soooooo pleased that I achieved my goal of running 5km in sub-30 mins. I wasn’t too sure about this goal when I got there as there were so many people, I thought they were going to hold me up. But I did it! I think I was definitely in the top 100 runners, not bad for a race with about 5000 runners in! I crossed the line extremely sweaty and in need of a lot of water!
We got given a goody bag and a commemorative medal when we crossed the line. (God I look bad in this photo!) I then met up with Tim’s parents and Tim for pictures (oh great!) and a stretch down. I think I will do this next year as it is a great course and a fantastic atmosphere. It is also in aid of a brilliant cause – Together we will beat cancer!