It's Sunday 3rd of April and it looks like it's going to be a nice sunny day. Which normally is lovely but not so much when you're running a ten mile race. I'd woken up with the snuffles which considering my wife and daughter both had colds was not unsurprising. So I nasal sprayed, got into my running gear, made some sandwiches, left sandwiches on the kitchen worktop :-( and headed off to Sandy.
It was nice and easy to find and got parked without a problem. It was getting warmer and was regretting wearing the jogging bottoms. Also I was noticing how just about everyone seemed to be in running club colours and looked rather like proper runners look. So I headed off to the start and stood around waiting with several hundred others for the race to begin. I tried in vain to find someone in the awaiting runners who was carrying too much weight; you know a normal person. My only hope now was not to be last. Damn it!
Parpppp!! The starting horn sounds and we're off, sort off. As normal it's a walk, stop, walk, jog a bit start to the race for the first hundred or so yards but then we're running. Pretty quickly my lungs are hurting. Damn it to hell. This is not normally an issue at the pace I was running at but I was not going to slow, not in this race.
The first few miles were hard; it was hot and my lungs were burning. Eventually though everything settled down and though my lungs were not great for the entire race they settled down enough to keep going. The first half of the race seemed to be mostly uphill but I'm not swearing to that (though I did swear a bit at that during the race). At least you get a few nice downhill bits on the way back.
|Downhill bit - well this was how it felt OK|
At around mile 4 the chap leading the race came past going the other way. Damn it to hell. Quick stop to take on water, I can't run and drink from a cup as I end up drowning myself, and it's off again. Mile 5; oooo half way. Then it's the chasing down each mile marker. Pass a pub with people sitting outside cheering. At first I hoped there would be someone drinking a beer and I was planning a snatch and grab when I realised that no one had a drink as it was too early for the pub to be open. Damn it to hell!
I think it was about now that two horses being led down the road became rather unhappy with all the people running past. They kept backing up across the road and runners and cars were stopping through fear of being kicked. Spiced things up a bit I can tell you.
Mile 8 and I'm flagging a bit. There's a small uphill stretch that really tests my mental strength but I make it to the top without walking. My left leg, behind the knee, starts feeling like it cannot support my weight. I start doing a sort of hoping run as the leg becomes rather painful. I struggle along until I pass the 9 mile marker and decide to just try and run normally and ignore the pain from the leg. Half a mile to go and the legs eased a bit and I'm running freer than before. The finish lines in sight so I kick on and finish with a reasonable impression of a sprint.
I finish having beat my previous best by a massive 1 minute and 34 second, oh well a PB's a PB. As I round the corner to my free snack and t-shirt the lady handing out the snacks asks "Oooo was it a tough race?". I haughtily reply "No madam, it was not. Now please may I have my biscuit and a if you could just help me up off the floor I'll be on my way." Then I stagger over to the t-shirt dispensary and the lady there says "Jim, give this man a large one". Actually I don't know if she said "Jim" I was still struggling to get the non-life sustaining functions like sight and hearing working to full capacity. It took a second to understand she meant t-shirt to which I responded with "Large? are you saying I'm fat?" with righteous indignation. She smiled and gave me a large which fitted perfectly.
So it was off to the car, slightly sad that there was not a medal, and headed off home.
The Sandy 10 miler was definitely a runners race though since there was about 100 people finishing behind me suggests that there at least some room for the average joe. It's very well marshaled and hat's off to them all as they encouraged, guided and smiled throughout the race. I'd do it again.