Regular readers will recall that it my June blog I referred to a forthcoming run that I hoped to participate in. This was in part to set myself a challenge, and also to support the School Council’s aim of fundraising towards a new school minibus.
Having spent time throughout the summer (not so easy now we’re back at school) running a variety of distances – at a variety of paces – I woke up this morning with a nervous excitement on ‘race day’.
The National Forest 10k Run is well-established. However, both this event, and the concept of running alongside other people, was new to me. The language of ‘gaits’ and ‘PBs’, the artefacts and symbols (I now know what a ‘Garmin’ is), and the overall ambience of the occasion was quite bewildering. One thing that struck me though, was that perhaps unlike adversarial sports and team games, there was a genuine welcome for novices such as I, and a sentiment that we were all looking to have fun and, maybe, improve on what we’d done before. It was pointed out that as this was my first ever race, I would be setting a personal best so long as I finished, and that was reassuring!
I finished the run with a time of 55 minutes and 23 seconds. That’s hardly earth-shattering, and watching the highlights of today’s Great North Run, it is about the time that the elite athletes completed over twice the distance in. Mr Goodwin, Mr Thompson and Mr Twynham were equally proud of their achievements. That’s the main thing: to enjoy, to challenge oneself and to look to improve. I am very grateful to them for their encouragement both in school and today. I am equally grateful to everyone who kindly agreed to sponsor me. With pledges totalling over £620, it’s a very creditable start to the Minibus Fund and will certainly spur me on to continue running for this cause.
Thank you for reading.