I went alone and finished alone. I was a lone ranger!
I feel I can’t ask David (or others) to come to all my races, especially as I’m doing them monthly now. I think it’s pretty boring for spectators and I want to make sure he can come to my big, scary races, where I will need the support.
This was also the first race I’ve done where I didn’t know anyone else participating, I sort of though I would turn up on the day and might see some familiar faces from Windmilers but I didn’t (the results show there were 3 other Windmilers and we won the team prize!). It was a bit lonely waiting at the beginning and I didn’t really know what to do with myself at the end, but I got chatting with a lady in the queue for the loo!
I was surprised how much having someone waiting for you at the end actually helps mentally, I really enjoyed this race but struggled to push at the end – the time when normally you draw on those cheering for you.
I suppose I should say a little about the race rather than waffling about myself. It was a lovely course, 2 laps of 5km with undulation for the first 3km and middle 3km (because you do it twice). It was nice and wide and I never had difficulty over taking/felt like I was in the way. The start was a bit narrow but once you’d crossed the start line it widened right up so it wasn’t difficult to weave – I didn’t feel elbowed like I did at Sheffield Hallam parkrun!
The morning was well organised, I only got there at 9:20 and despite queueing for a toilet for 10 minutes I still had time to get my chip, drop my bag (no queues) and warm up. I would probably aim to be there 10 mins later if I was on my own again as I ended up aimlessly wandering and getting a bit anxious. Silly me!
There were loads of things I really liked about this race, firstly, the people taking your chip off also gave you your medal so you didn’t have to queue somewhere else for it. Secondly, they had a separate water station for finishers where I also scoffed two fig rolls (there were also jaffa cakes and cereal bars available and lots of them). Finally, despite being in a park and just having a tent they had set up a printer and were posting a page of the results as soon as they had a page full. They also had a little machine attached to an iPad where you put your number in and got your finish time (not chip) which was good for me as I just wanted to go home.
My time on the little machine was 55:53 (I thought my chip time) which was under by 56 min target but not a PB, because of the undulation (hills in my book) I was really pleased and when I rang David to tell him, I welled up with happiness. Post race endorphins, tsk. Imagine my joy when my chip time came through this morning as 55:33 a PB by 2 seconds.
The course is a little way from any public transport, but in hindsight there was LOADS of parking on site and on the surrounding roads, I was feeling good so a little reluctantly I put my medal in my bag and took a slow gentle jog home to cool down.