With weather warnings of heat waves for the weekend, the 10 mile race was met with trepidation.
Mental preparations involved relinquishing a PB with the focus on completing the course without the assistance of an ambulance.
I had never travelled to where the race was being held before so I memorised the route, which was the closest thing I had to a sat nav. It would take just over an hour to drive there.
Peering out of the window, first thing, I could see a few clouds speckled about and the trees were blowing. Yay! There was a breeze. Fantastic!
The journey there was great. The car windows were open with music blaring out from the radio. I aimed to be there an hour before, yet managed to drive past the race car park. Luckily, I spotted another friendly face of a Norwich Road Runner, Jayne Cook, who jumped into my passenger seat and returned to the car park with me.
We collected our numbers, chatted to other runners and thanked our lucky stars that we were feeling a little chilly to start with.
We had a quick warm up, visited a portaloo, chatted some more and lined up ready for the race.
A chap was explaining the route but not many people could hear him since his microphone had died after mimicking a squeaking dolphin. Never mind, it was not as if I was going to be in the lead and need the route explained to me. As always it would be all about following those in front.
There were lots of runners, over 100 taking part, braving the elements. We saw plenty of friendly faces including Colin, Gavin, and Jeanette from Norwich Road Runners.
With only 10 minutes to go I realised I had forgotten my Garmen Forerunner in the back of the car. Ooops! It was all charged and ready to go and waiting for me. There was only one thing to do ... run without it.
For the first time in ages I would be simply running without focusing on time, distance or pace. Wow! That was going to be interesting. A sense of freedom filled me. I would be able to focus on my running form and nothing else.
The race started on a flat but within seconds we were running up a hill that shared a resemblance to Ketts Hill. I had plenty of energy at this point but I wondered if I would have any more after the first mile.
I soon caught sight of a man in front that I managed to stay behind for the first 6 miles. I suspected he must have been going about an 8 minute mile pace or thereabouts, but I had no idea. A fierce, head on breeze was tough work to fight against in the air field, mixed with the heat of the sun, but my chosen pacer became my windshield unknowingly.
There were plenty of water stations and wet sponges to keep us cool which was a great bonus. A vehicle also passed by a few times to make sure we were okay.
Running and being completely focused on my form was an interesting experience. I ran at a pace I could manage but lost time in the last mile. Had the marshal not said anything I may have been okay, but in my head I believed we only had half a mile to go but he called out, “Well done. Just over a mile to go!” The wind in my sails died and I found it was hard to keep going. I lost precious seconds during the last mile and I could feel it but I couldn’t go any faster. However, I did my best and was pleased with my time of 1 hour and 26 minutes.
It was a great experience and I’d love to run it again. Well done to all those who took part. You were awesome!
This is Jayne and I.