Sunday, 6 March 2011
What a lovely sunny spring day it was today for the Trimpell 20 mile race! Arriving in Lancaster in good time to collect my number, having travelled with Mick, Dawn and Alison, we strolled up to the registration area where we met up with fellow Eccleshill Road Runners, Sophie and Gill and also our recent Pudsey Pacers training partner Karen. Although slightly chilly, the sun was shining which always gives a boost to ones attitude towards the run that lays ahead.
We set off as a foursome, Gill, Dawn, Alison and I. Sophie was accompanied by Karen. Run mainly on cycle tracks, this race is one where for a large part of the time the faster runners are passing you in the opposite direction. I was shocked today though to see the front runner when we had completed only two and a half miles! I'm sure I got further round the course last year before I saw any runners coming back! I actually love seeing the runners on their way back, it keeps you on the look out for people you recognise. Just before 10 miles, Dawn and Gill had got a little in front, I hung back with Alison, she kept reiterating that she was struggling. Dawn turned around to see where we were and I motioned for her to carry on with Gill. She did. Alison said she would rather I caught up to the two in front and she would drop back with Liz Jones from Hyde Park Harriers. It's not easy when you are put in the position of choosing to stay or go but it causes you to question whether staying is the best option for both parties. After several attempts to make sure it was what Alison wanted I agreed to go on ahead, even though the pace wasn't much faster we still seemed to make great progress and the miles began to drop one by one. By 15 miles I knew I needed to take more energy on board. However, I couldn't face the thought, I began to feel sick. I also had packed an energy bar into my bum bag but I couldn't face that either. At 18 miles I began to feel much better, even though I was weary and my legs felt like they didn't belong to me! Gill stopped dead and began to walk, we tried to carry on and encouraged her to get going again but she was having none of it, I started to edge back and forth towards her all the time shouting encouragement, finally she managed to get going again, this happened again when we only had just over a mile left to go. Once more I managed to encourage her to get going again. We came upon Mick & Sophie who had finished, Sophie shouted encouragement and told us we only had ONE lap of the track to do to finish not two as we had anticipated. This gave me a real boost and I kept talking to Gill to keep her going. Finally we crossed the line - done. A small boy rushed up to hand me a medal. Fantastic. We had done it. Utter team work! Alison wasn't far behind although she had dropped behind Liz too, she too was elated to have finished.
Sadly the picture below of Salt Ayre Leisure Centre swimming pool was the only glimpse we runners got of it! Apparently the race director had used last year's information for this year's race and we weren't allowed to use the pool, just the showers..... We close in 45 minutes was her next words - presumably to prevent us from offering to pay for the use of the pool...... Kill joys!
So hopefully with plenty of confidence instilled into our marathoners they will continue their training plan and have a brilliant marathon run in London!