Monday 1 June 2015

Running to help save lives - My 10k Race for Life

So on Saturday I ran 10k for Cancer Research in the Race for Life. The run was at Lydiard Park in Swindon which is a stunning park set in 260 acres of parkland. The park is full of green space, a huge lake, Lydiard House, a children's play park and stunning woodland. It has everything you would need for a great family day out and was the perfect setting for the race. There were a few races you could chose from such as the 5k, 10k (which I did), mud runner or their half marathon. This weekend at Lydiard Park they had the 5k and the 10k set over two days.
I was very lucky with the weather as on Saturday morning I woke to blue skies and not a rain cloud in sight. By the time the race started the clouds had started to come over but this helped as I wasn't too keen on running in the blazing sun.
The race started at 11am and they ask you to be there about an hour before. My husband came along with our sons to cheer me on. I was pretty nervous as I was running on my own and this was a big race for me considering I had only started running 6 months ago.
We turned into Lydiard Park about 10.15am and all of a sudden a wave of emotion hit me. I think it was a mixture of nervousness and the fact that this race is quite emotion filled. We parked and once we were all out the car and I was ready we made our way to where everyone was congregating and waiting for the race to start. There was a mixture of different stands like the donation station, an entertainment stand where they did the warm up, a sweet shop, bouncy castle for the kids, a burger stand and an ice cream van!

Before the race
We dropped our clothes donation at the donation station and then wondered around. I got more and more nervous the closer it for to 11am. At about 10.50am they asked for everyone to congregate in their ability level section which was running, jogging and walking. I put myself into the jogging category. I got my music and MapMyRun app ready to start so it could update me as I ran the course on how far I had run.
At 11am the race started. It is all a bit of a hustle trying to get onto the course as there are a lot of people and you can't actually start your pace of running until about 2 minutes into the run. The atmosphere is amazing. Even though I was running on my own and I didn't know anyone, I didn't actually feel like I was running on my own.
The course was a mixture of grass, rough terrain, paths and woodland. This made the run interesting and as you have so much to look at as you run around the course the time passes rather quickly. Around every corner there was a volunteer from Race for Life who is standing and cheering you on. There was also music and entertainment. These kept me going and increased my pace at times. There was also spectators who were cheering everyone on and encouraging everyone.
The course was 5k so the 10k was 2 laps round. At the 5k point they had volunteers handing out bottles of water and giving more encouragement and telling us all how well we were doing. My pace at this point increased as I knew I was half way round.

There were a few points during the race I had to bite my tongue so that I didn't cry. People are running with signs on their backs saying who they are running for. Everyone is running for the same cause but some are running for loved ones that are fighting or that they have lost to cancer.

At the 9k point I was beginning to flag but I kept on running. And I ran the whole 10k and I didn't stop once. Not sure if this is a good thing but if I was to stop I don't think I would have started again. I think it helped that I had done a few 10k runs before on Saturday mornings leading up to the race.

You turn a corner and you can see everyone lined up clapping, cheering and you can see the finish line. And then to the left of my view I could see my husband and the boys! This was the best thing ever. The boys were cheering and waving. Hubby had the camera out as requested by me. The boys looked so excited to see me and this is when I really ran. I ran faster than I have ran before to get to the finish. Seeing their faces gave me the last bit of encouragement I needed to finish.

Running to the finish line
I completed the race in 1 hour and 2 minutes. This is a personal best for me. As I crossed the line I felt like I could cry again. All these inspirational women around me running for one thing, to help cure cancer. In the hope that one day we can eliminate this awful disease that effects so many of us.

I picked up my medal, cake (I know, amazing) and bottle of water and went to wait for the boys. When they saw me they both ran and this was an incredible moment for me. They ran and cuddled me. Finley my 3 year old said 'Well Done Mummy!'. Tears filled my eyes. They then went off to the toilet, returning with an ice cream each for us. Every family outing of ours has to include an ice cream!!

I ran for all the survivors, all those that are courageously fighting, all those that will sadly fight and those we have sadly lost to cancer.
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  1. Well done you! This post made me quite emotional! Sounds like you did a fab job and how lovely to have your boys there at the end xxx

  2. You had me crying at the end. Your reasons for running and seeing your boys at the finish line made me well up. You did it in fantastic time Kirsty a huge well done and congratulations x

  3. You are so amazing! Congratulations on this! I have started running again. My schedule is a bit erratic but I am not going to stop. My dream is to run and finish a marathon too! #TwinklyTuesday

    1. Aw bless you - thank you :-) I would love to run and finish a marathon too xx

  4. WELL DONE!!!! Well done pet — huge achievement — and such a worthy cause too. Thanks so much for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday x

    Caro |

  5. Really well done! There is always a fantastic atmosphere at these events isn't there! You did great and what an emotional read! :) x

    1. Thank you - the atmosphere was very emotional but also everyone was connected somehow xx

  6. Well done you, this was hard reading, but you are so good. I would love to do one of these, it's definitely a reason for me to get back into fitness. It's been a hard slog after out last baby. You should be really proud of yourself xxx #sharewithme

  7. Well done lady!!! I loved race for life. Wish my knee hadn't given in so I could still do it. Thanks for linking up to Share With Me. #sharewithme

    1. Thank you - I would hate to have to stop running xx

  8. Thank you for sharing this on #bigfatlinky and well done you :)

  9. Well done Kirsty not sure I could run 1k em is doing race for life in July can't wait to take girls to watch thanks for linking to the Binkylinky

  10. Aww well done! It turned out to be quite an emotional day! Must have felt so great crossing that line with your family waiting! Plus ice cream is always a bonus!! xx #binkylinky

  11. Well done! I'm doing the 5k so totally admire and respect that you did the 10k! I don't know how you do it, the 5k is a struggle for me! Doing it memory of my mum. Thanks for linking up to the #BinkyLinky



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