Saturday 25 January 2014

Glow in the Park - Mud and a podium place

One of the unexpected positives from running has been the support and friendship of those supporting me, through existing friendships and with the Team Naturally Run girls on Facebook and twitter. When my colleague Evita first asked me if I would like to go for a run last summer I didn’t think it would become the regular training run and we would be covering on average 10k while chatting away.

We agreed that we would find a fast and flat road course for her first 10k timed run, but in my excitement for finding the LeahGlow in the Park run at a local Park (Polesdon Lacey), I neglected to check the course information and it turns out that Polesdon Lacey is neither flat, nor road!

January has been just wet non-stop, and when it hasn’t been raining it has been windy, like proper rip up your fences windy (our poor fence!), the morning of the run, it poured with rain, and according to race organisers they lost most of the course markers throughout the day, replacing these little less than an hour before the run was due to start.

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With our regulatory required head torches, and not so required neon outfits we made our way to the start line, with over 400 runners expected and 99 running on the night it was a quiet start-line, everyone bunched up close trying to bounce a little warmth into cold legs. This was the first event that I have ever been to without a warm-up, just a quick word from the organisers on course safety and we were off!

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Before we had even hit the 1k marker I had started apologising to Evita for my mis-sell of the event. The path had quickly turned to trail, then to a mix of grass and mud, our road trainers were not providing the traction required for the mixed wet terrain. Around the 2k marker a steep rocky decline had slowed the pack in front to a walk, and we held hands as we clambered the steps down. It was somewhere between 3-4k that I thought maybe I would not be running the full 10k, which was confirmed when both Evita and I were on our hands and knees trying to stay upright up a hill, which can only be accurately defined as a small mudslide (I so wish I had taken pictures), the only thing keeping me moving up that hill was the need to keep ahead of Evita, whom I was certain would throttle me if she caught up!

We made sure to run the final 1k, and a token sprint finish, before bowing out of the second lap! Although for a short while, we were on the podium!

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Glow in the Park 5k – Polesdon Lacey 25/01/2014 (49:26)

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