Race for Life – Cancer Research

I took part in the Race for Life with two other Deben Rotaracters on Sunday 17th June in Chantry Park, Ipswich.  The race is a sponsored 5k run raising money for Cancer Research, and you can visit our sponsorship pages here:  http://www.raceforlifesponsorme.org/deben-rotaract and here: http://www.raceforlifesponsorme.org/rmorris

I’d planned to fit in plenty of training sessions before the big day, but the weeks running up to the event were especially busy and I missed more scheduled jogs than I ran.  As the Sunday loomed, I was seriously worried that I wouldn’t make it around the course without a great deal of staggering!  At least light rain was forecast, I thought.  I’d be exhausted but cool.  Sunday morning dawned too soon, and far too bright… not a cloud in the sky!  I walked through Ipswich to the park, phantom twinges jolting through my legs which I imagined would send me sprawling at the first corner, worrying whether I was wearing too much, or too little, did I have enough water, would there be hills?  All was forgotten as I met up with Tasha, Helen and Vanessa, and mingled with the crowd of women and girls of all ages, busily donning their race numbers, pink accessories, and in some cases, full length fancy dress costumes!  We were led though a fun warm up routine from the stage, reminded of why we were there by speakers and organisers, and then led into position: runners first, then joggers, then walkers.  The four of us fell in with the joggers, just behind a green dragon and a little girl with wings and a pink tutu.

The run was really very hot, and time seemed to stretch out between each km marker to the point where I was convinced I must have passed the 4km mark ages ago and not spotted it, when in reality it was still up ahead.  At 22 minutes into the race the loudspeakers announced the first runner had crossed the line, and from then on a steady stream of congratulations was beamed out across the park.  There were hidden surprises along the way: turning a corner to find a band starting up a cheery song; a choir hidden in a valley near the 4km mark singing ‘the show must go on’; and the way the course dipped in and out of the park centre, so our supporters could keep track of how flustered and red we were getting.  It was an amazing sight: a ribbon of pink winding its way around the entire park – so many women running to support the cause.  I’d settled into a dogged slow pace by the end and it was almost a surprise to see the finish line looming.  I put on a final burst to sprint the last leg, grabbed my goody bag and water from the stewards, and promptly flopped over onto the nearest free patch of grass to try and cool down.

Despite the heat it was a fantastic experience, and I was up and jumping around after a good few minutes rest, cheering people on from the side-lines.  I managed to get around the course in 33 minutes, which I thought was fairly respectable and a lot faster than I’d thought I’d be.  Still, I’ll have to try and beat it next year!

Originally posted at Deben Rotaract.

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