My 3rd time doing this event, meaning I have started my 3rd year of ‘competing’ (aka turning up to run with a load of other runners) in races.
This year proved itself to be another good one. Having done a few races over the last 2 years I now recognise faces as well as make new friends. Many of whom were at this event so it was a fab opportunity to have a good old natter and catch-up. And me being me, got to know a few more.
The route this year took in most of the 2015 route but no off-road. Which was probably good as we’ve had a fair bit of rain recently so the ground would have been soft/soggy. I started out in the pen with the ladies from Fittbirds and remained pretty much step for step with one of them (Mary) for the duration of the race. Got another nice Tshirt and enjoyed my banana.
Chip time 50.16.
On 20 December 2014 I registered with ParkRun and got my barcode. Since then I’ve ‘been going to’ take part but somehow never actually managed.
That all changed on the 28 May 2016 when I dragged myself down to the Inaugural Stevenage ParkRun. Thought it had a nice ring to it me doing my first at an event first.
The route is on paths that have formed part of my regular stomping ground so knew the horrid bit (with the exception of the final uphill to the finish, that is not pleasant at all!!). I have managed to complete another two, both of those accompanied by my lovely hubby who took part in the event with me, a lovely bond there and it has kick started his running. Although he still hates it.
So far I am pleased with my times:
28 May – 23.54, 105/426, 10th female, 4th in VW50-54
6 June – 23.39, 64/272, 5th female, 1st in WV50-54
11 June – 23.18, 52/266, 6th female, 2nd in WV50-54
Came back again to run this lovely race. The terrain is offroad with some challenging hills – it is not easy. But it is immense fun and everyone is so friendly. The field was mixed with locals as well as club runners. The day dawned with lovely blue skies and it was quite warm. Got parked easily and picked up my number. Had a look around at the stalls and was tempted by the cakes and BBQ. Plenty of toilets too.
We were given a 10 minute warning to get into the time pens then at 11am we were off.
The route was the same as last year, around the back of a field then up onto the Ayot Greenway which runs from Welwyn to Wheathampstead. We then veered off there and along the edge of a field. Hills were ever present and I admit to having to walk. I’d set off to try and achieve a 50minute finish time but there was no way my ‘long distance legs’ were playing ball with that. At around 6k I walked up the hill which goes alongside and across a field. I then had a total leg fail just after 8k so I did another little walk. I finished strong though so the strategy worked.
The support was lovely and I saw a few faces I knew so had a nice chatter to them and waved at others.
Gun time 52.48, Chip time 52.32, Overall 213/566, Female 49/241, Category FV45-54 12/64.
Remind me – didn’t I say I would never run a marathon? Well here we are.
So the story goes – I entered the ballot because I wanted the nice winter training tshirt. Normal people wait for years to get a ballot place so I was utterly gosmacked and in a state of shock when the magazine with a woman dressed as a bee on the front landed on my doorstep.
Shiiiiiiit! so what was I supposed to do? I really had no compunction to run a marathon BUT I had a challenge presented to me. Not to be overdone by this I decided to have a go – what did I have to lose?
My ‘training’ was sporadic, I knew I needed to build up the mileage but all of a sudden I detested the thought of going for a run! I pressed on, knowing that if I did not train I would fail. I took most of February off and went to India for a holiday.
When I got back from India I could not find my mojo, but eventually I gave myself a talking to and set out on my quest to find some mileage. I crammed the last few long runs into the 4 weeks prior to the event. Only after I’d done 20 miles a fortnight before did I feel capable.
The event was brilliant. 26.2 miles flew by, encouraged by fellow competitors and the crowds! the atmosphere was amazing, I kept a lookout for Mike but didn’t see him which was disappointing, but knowing he was there made a huge difference. I don’t want to run another one, doing this one, The Big One was simply brilliant (although I have entered the ballot again and am hoping for the tshirt….)
I GOT THE MEDAL and the finishers tshirt
Finish time 4.20.35. Overall 19483/39001, Female 5145/15059. Category 436/1275
Is history going to repeat itself? No. Not planning to do many HMs this year. But had to do this one as a gauge for my pace for another race this year. And it is the second time this event has been held and I wanted to take part.
Same route but this time I thought I would be running alone. Met up with and chatted to a variety of folks along the way, including an ex colleague, Annie, who I ran for about 8 miles with.
As we got to within 2 miles of the finish there was a chap not looking too happy, he had lost his running vibe and was walking. It was my turn to repay the favours that others had bestowed upon me so I took him by the hand and we ran together. I gave back the support and encouragement to get this man up Chequers and along the path to Gosling. He then said he was OK and I ran off to finish. I was announced across the line as having knocked 6 minutes off my time from last year.
Met up with the chap when he was getting his tshirt and he gave me a huge hug, I was so happy he had finished in, as he said, a far better time than he imagined.
Got my medal, tshirt and another water bottle
Gun time: 1.51.18. Chip time 1.50.45. Overall 191/462. Female 47/194. Category W50 2/17.
Entered this at short notice – 3 mile run at University of Hatfield deHavilland campus in aid of Sports Relief.
Chilly start but as numbers grew so we huddled together to stay warm. Lady Mayoress started us off and we went along the fields behind the university. Loved being offorad, didn’t like the headwind very much.
Battled along and ran hard to discover I was first lady finisher
Medal presented by lady Mayoress.
Gun time 23.36. Overall 8/86. Female 1/55
After last years brilliant event I did it again. Ran 7k alone this time and still enjoyed myself.
The atmosphere was just as energised as last year, and as dusk fell the day-glo clad torch wielding mass of runners set out along the same route as last year. This year it was much wetter as we had had loads of rain. Ooozy puddles had to be avoided and the hearing sense switched on to pick up the change in foot-fall noise as well as the squelshy feeling underfoot.
The cows were in the same field as us and they huddled in the middle mooing as we went by. There were sheep in another and they too formed a woolly baaing mass as we galloped on through.
As we got to the top of the hill, I remembered to look back, and was not disappointed. Again the long snake of light wove its way across the fields. Spectacular.
Got to the finish line with a decent sprint and collected my glow in the dark medal and goodie bag.
Gun time 36.25. Overall 51/303. FEmale 8/190. Category V50 2/23.