Race For Life
Trip Start Jun 12, 2007
129Trip End Ongoing
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Hazel was in a position to run this race, but I knew that I would be walking most of it - all along she was going to run it, but this morning she started saying that she wanted to walk it with me. I didn't want her to walk it, she'd trained damn hard in order to get fit enough to run this and I just knew if she walked it, tomorrow she would be regretting it. Hazel said that it wasn't about running it anymore, it had given her the push she needed to get fit, she knew she could do it if she wanted to and that was enough for her - she wanted to walk with me. I wasn't going to allow it and told her that I wanted her to run.
So, we head down the road and as we get closer, the atmosphere is building already - we follow a line of people making their way to the park. We enter the park and follow the flow to a central area where there is a stage with local radio presenters building the mood up, some food and drink stalls and people walking around giving away yoghurts and bottles of water to participants. We're there about 10 minutes before me and Hazel are called to the mass warm up, so we leave the others, with wishes of good luck etc. and join the several thousand woman (it's a woman only event) now congregating in front of the stage area. Now the excitement is building and Hazel finally agrees that she will run it - I was so glad when she said she was.
After several minutes of jokes and hype from the dj's, they bring 3 men onto the stage, who - very tongue in cheek, do the most ridiculous dance routine for us all to join in with - we all did it and there was much laughter all round - everyone was in really high spirits - it was great!! Following that, a proper warm up person came on where all the runners did their stretches etc. As I said on my fund raising website, I did intend to run some of it, but I knew it wouldn't be much - so when they called for the runners I gave Hazel a hug, wished her good luck and watched her disappear into a sea of people following someone with a huge banner that said 'RUNNERS' on it. For that split second, I really wished that I'd had more time over the last month to train - I have a year this time to train for the next one, so next time I can go in the same direction. This time however I wait for the call for walkers and join the remaining woman heading for the starting line.
Taking part in this race was awesome, some people were dressed up, some people tied their leg to someone elses and did a three legged race, one girl walked the whole thing backwards and one woman even did it on crutches - totally inspiring. It was also extremely touching - there was a piece of pink card that you could stick on your back to say who you were running\walking for - some of the thoughts and statements I read as I was walking around brought tears to my eyes. One just read 'for those who don't know yet'.
I asked John try and get some photographs, but I knew it would be fairly difficult with the amount of people there taking part and watching. I saw him pop up every now and then to get some shots of me walking past during the first kilometre - then we ventured off up hill and away from the main park. I was on my own - and as time passed I was wondering how Hazel was getting on and if she had finished etc. It's the first time she has ever entered a race like this and actually run it. When I hit the 3km mark I decided it was about time I did my bit of running - so I did - I ran about 500m, which isn't a lot in the grand scheme of things, but I said I would run as far as I could and that's as far as I could run.
I crossed the 5 km finish line in just under 45 minutes, which I was reasonably happy with, given my current state of unfitness!!
Hazel ran the whole race and crossed the finish line in 32 minutes - I was really proud of her.
John missed me cross the finish line, he was looking for me to take a photo, but missed me, my dad said he thinks he got one though, so hopefully he has and he'll pass that on soon.
I would just like to say a big thankyou to Louise, Jacques and Scott from the TravelPod forums for sponsoring me. I wore the T-shirt as promised Louise, see the pictures below!!
Photos are courtesy of John.