Today I took part in the Heaton Park, Cancer Research UK, 10K run.
Having woken up at 7am, I supped on lots of Lucozade and had a banana. Awesome start to the day. Looking out the window, it was chucking it down with rain. I know Manchester hasn't got the best reputation when it comes to fine weather, but today was probably the wettest for months. I drove over and picked up Daniel & Jenna, then headed over to Heaton Park.
When we got there, despite the delay in finding a place to park, we made it to the field in time for one last 'toilet stop' and joined in the amusing warm up. By the end of this we were absolutely drenched from the rain above, and squelching from the mud below. I was so glad to have bought myself a pair of tight-fitting running socks the day before.
The run started, and after 5 minutes of jogging in a fairly tight pack through narrow paths (and lots of mud) the field started to break up and I had the opportunity to overtake a few of the more casual joggers. The run took us over bog and quagmire, and despite a puddle only being about 3 inches deep and 5 meters long on the way out, the torrential rain meant that running back through the same path on the 8km mark, it was 50 meters long and up to 6-8 inches deep in places. I didn't apply to run a triathalon, but it wasn't far off being able to swim!
I got to the last km and was starting to feel it. The penultimate 500 metres seemed to go on forever, and on the 500 meter mark I got overtaken by a guy who'd picked up his pace. Not feeling like I had much in the tank, I didn't want to keep pace with him, but figured it would be a sensible thing for me to do. I'm glad I did, because along the finishing straight I saw the clock, and wanting to finish under 54 minutes, I managed to find the energy to break into a sprint. I passed him with seconds to spare, and finished in 53 minutes 43 seconds.
It was a tough race, the weather persisted down throughout the whole of the race. However, I really enjoyed it, and the sense of achievement at the end of it was much more acute than I'd expected.
Training for this has been fun, and having not run much before I'm looking forward to the next chance I have to get out and compete in another 10k. I don't think I'll be increasing the distance in the next few months, but hopefully will get a chance to improve upon my time, and run in nicer weather.
Thanks to everyone who sponsored me; it carried me through knowing I had support - and I'm glad that the money raised is going to such a great cause as Cancer Research.