Parkrunners are early birds and by 9am, 144 assorted runners gathered in front of the stable block, rubbing their hands to keep warm against the sub zero temperatures of the morning. It was fabulous to see such an array of different runners in assorted lyrcra, glove and hat combos; those in their club vests, the tough ones with short sleeved tops; parents with their children; runners with their dogs; all doing their best to keep warm whilst waiting for the race to start. This is the part of the race that I get to "hang" with other runners!
Fortunately for me the first part of the race was on the flat ground along to the old gate, so I could settle into a steady pace ready for the hills and get my heart beating a little faster before heading up onto the snowy parkland. Those runners with the more conventional cardio-vascular set up disappeared into the distance within half a kilometre, waymarking my route through the snow. This is the hard bit; the bit where my heart hasn't really got going properly; eveyone else is way off in front and I have to remind myself that I'm not racing anyone.
If I was on my own at the back, then I'm not sure that I'd complete the course and in the past I've sometimes cut runs short because that day its just been too hard to keep going. But I wasn't on my own because parkruns have a tail runner and yesterdays tail runner was Steve, a friendly and encouraging companion, who only started running last November. I used a combination of running, power-walking and plain old walking to get round the course and Steve didn't seem too bothered by the fact I was doubling his run time. We were joined after a while by a lady in wellies trialing the route in anticipation of running it properly next week; I hope she does.
At each of the waymarking points the volunteers were friendly and pleased to see us; partly because that marked the point where they could stop standing around in a field at -1 and return to base for a warm drink! ;-)
In the final part of the run there is a bit called the funnel where runners go through in single file and collect their running place ticket. The funnel is kind of unecessary by the time I get there as there isn't so much of a scrum for last place! Mine said 143; at least I beat Steve!
Race times came through later in the day: 48mins and 48 seconds.
- Climbed my first mountain - Cadair Idris
- Learned how to punt
- Learned how to hula hoop
- First road bike ride;
- Taken up tap dancing
- First 5K trail run at Wimpole Hall Parkrun
I'm doing this to help raise funds for these two fantastic charities:
Please make a donation to Papworth Hospital Charity at http://www.justgiving.com/Angie4papworth
Please make a donation to The Freeman Heart and Lung Transplant Association, at http://www.justgiving.com/Angie-Ridley
None of this would be possible without the kindness of my donor's family and this challenge is part of acknowledging the significance of that gift. Your support means the world to me!
Click here to find out more about organ donation and join the register
#202heartchallenge #lifegiven @angie_ridley