There were supporters along the sidelines all the way around, and it was wonderful to see them cheering and waving, encouraging even complete strangers to keep running. In the last 1k there were volunteers handing out vaseline and jelly babies. I took a jelly baby but was almost too exhausted by that point to chew it. I forgot all about it until I’d done when I burped and couldn’t for the life of me work out why I had such a strong taste of orange in my mouth when I hadn’t had anything orange that day, it took me a while to remember the jelly baby!
I did it!
I ran my first ever 10k run EVER!
I was strangely nervous and diva-ish beforehand, getting bossier as the morning went on and poor Chris had his work cut out making me porridge and pinning my sponsorship info on my back amongst other things. I wouldn’t have blamed him if he’d accidentally-on-purpose stabbed me with one of the five safety pins I’d managed to find, but I’m grateful he didn’t.
The start wasn’t quite how I’d imagined, when it came to lining up to begin, it was just a giant free for all and the crowd was HUGE so I was a little anxious that I didn’t really have the physical space to warm up properly which I’d have done on the sidelines if I’d known. Still the atmosphere was great.
(Portland Street, ready to run!)
(My little team of supporters)
The starting klaxon for the pink wave sounded at 12.30 pm but it was actually 12.34 when I passed through the start line- that’s how many of us there were! It was pretty slow going at first and I can see how easy it would be to end up tripping/falling as there was such a large number of limbs and variation in speeds and abilities. I could definitely have run the first 5k faster with less of a crowd but it’s probably a good thing I didn’t because I hit a major wobble between 6 and 8k. There were a couple of hills…ok, ok…slight inclines and the sun was beating down, shining directly on me. The run-through showers at 7k were pure bliss and I’d have happily run through several more had there been any!
After 8k I think I passed through my mental barrier and the adrenaline kicked in, I was feeling pretty shaky the closer I got to the start and at 400m to the finish line I suddenly felt cold when I’d been boiling in my own skin the whole way around but I was determined to cross the finish line running and I did!
I can’t tell you how good it felt to finish, it was so awesome. I hadn’t managed a 10k run in training due to knee/shin pain but I didn’t have any at all yesterday. Obviously I’m a little achey and knackered today but I am injury free which was always my main goal! The only physical evidence I have in fact is a solitary blister on the end of my middle toe on my left foot, which made me smile when I found it last night.
I never cease to be amazed at what the human body is capable of. And that’s really why I wanted to run in the first place. I wanted to do something new, something I wouldn’t normally do, something slightly crazy but also something for good. By completing the Bupa Great Manchester Run and raising money for Findlay and Iona I think I’ve accomplished that.
This is the first year in a while that I haven’t been pregnant / trying to get pregnant / miscarrying or have just given birth. In the past four years I have been amazed at what my body is capable of and I wanted to see what else it could do. Biomechanically speaking I don’t think I’m a born runner- my feet are flat and my knees are creaky, but yesterday I saw runners of all shapes, sizes, ages and abilities running alongside each other. I saw people in wheelchairs, and people with obvious physical disabilities, people who’d survived cancer, and overcome the odds and I’m sure there were many others whose disabilities, battles and pain weren’t immediately apparent to the rest of us but were there nonetheless.
Almost everyone I saw was running to raise money and / or awareness for somebody or something, there were millions of different coloured charity vests and t-shirts and people running with photos of loved ones on their backs. There wasn’t one single cause I saw that I thought wasn’t worthwhile running 10k for, it was very humbling and actually quite emotional. Several times I felt like crying, and not because of the scorching heat and my jelly legs! Several times when I slowed right down I saw someone or something that inspired me to speed back up and to keep going.
With the hiccups I’ve faced since I started running in January I had said several times that I wasn’t sure I’d keep on running once this race was over and that I probably wouldn’t run another 10k race for sure…but now having experienced how incredible it is taking part in something so huge, as one of thousands and thousands of runners, in my own city, having the opportunity to do something fantastic just by showing up and doing my best I know that of course I would. I’d do it again tomorrow. Having seen some of the people running yesterday and what they’d endured just to get there, how could I not?
Time: 1 hour, 21 minutes and 59 seconds
(out of 40,000 runners in total)
Position in 0-34 years age group:
Position in female category:
Position in female 0-34 years age group:
Money raised so far:
A huge thank you to everyone who has shown their support and / or made a donation 🙂