Running for life

So, as my training continues to push harder and become more relentless the weather gods have decided to make it stinking hot. While it may not be as hot as it is in the south east, anything above 20 degrees – and it’s been a fair few above that – is too darn hot to run in.

That aside, on Saturday I decided to run to the Cumberland Show. I wanted to attend with mum and D, and it was going to interfere with my running schedule so it seemed sensible (?!) to combine both… It was 7.5 miles there, and as I didn’t leave until 11.40ish (I hadn’t learned my lesson from America, obviously) it was hellishly hot. I made it though, and spent the next three hours walking miles around the show ground while sweaty, probably smelly and hot! Great show though.

I attempted to run home but managed 1.75 miles before my hip/thigh joint was sore up hills, I was shattered, hot and a neighbour passed and offered me a lift. Like a wimp, I succumbed.

The following morning was the Race for Life. In a previous life for us all, my mum, Rach and I ran the 5k Race for Life in Battersea, London, with thousands and thousands of people. Then we did it for her brother, but I’ve run them in Colchester and Chelmsford too – always with Graeme, mum (during her own cancer scare), friends and their relatives in my mind. Last year I did the Pretty Muddy 5k with the gorgeous Annalise, but decided to run the 10k this year, and then walk the 5k with mum. A decision obviously made BEFORE the weather changed.

I was impressed with my 10k run – crossed the line in 55 mins (or 51 according to their clock?) – and was in the top 15 or 20. It was so hot though. And I mean baking. I walked a few times briefly in the shade of trees or to gulp down mouthfuls of water.

And then took on the 5k with mum! That was a much more sedate walk in the park – excepting the moment she tripped and managed to end up face first, spreadeagled across the ground with a sea of women rushing to help her and her red face clashing with her pink t-shirt! Fortunately she was uninjured and we ambled on before running the final 100m to the line.

The Race for Life is, and will always be, one of the most emotional, inspiring and moving events to take part in. Highlights included:

  • the woman who had run the 10k and was then walking the 5k with her tiny little girl and young son, each with their own number, so they could take part;
  • the woman silently crying during the minute’s silence, wearing a sign paying tribute to her father, on Father’s Day, who had only recently passed away;
  • the schoolchildren who’d travelled from west Cumbria to take part;
  • the woman proudly celebrating her 60th birthday, walking stick and birthday balloon clutched in hand.

And the list goes on, the signs on every woman and girl’s back kept me going…

It is with pride I pin my sign on my back, and this year I got to add a second when I did the 5k.

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And so, here is mum and me with our medals!

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