As a quick bit of background, my wife, my sister in law and I came up with a bit of a challenge to raise money for the KIDS charity, the reasons for which can be seen on our fundraising site
The plan is that my wife and I will run the London marathon and then the three of us will run the Milton Keynes marathon the week after, all whilst raising money for the KIDS charity.
This weekend was the latest in a number of events we’ve organised to raise awareness and hopefully fundraising. This weekend was 9 races and 102km run by the 3 of us (Thursday St Patricks day race, Saturday New Forest half marathon, Sunday Eastleigh 10k, New forest 10k and West End 10k). My contribution was the St Patricks Day 5k, Eastleigh 10k, New Forest 10k and the West End 10k. This took some planning but with the help of a spreadsheet and a car full of clothes and food I managed to pull it off.
9am – Eastleigh 10k
This race is very popular on the South Coast – 2300 entrants I believe and is a hugely supported race by the Hedgies, with over 100 of us doing the race. I think I met a large number of them going round and the support was awesome.
Great race, well known area and in my traditionally challenging KM6-8 period I ran with a friend by chance who chatted me through it. I then gave it some welly in the last KM and got a PB and my first ever 10k under one hour which was awesome. I was a bit wobbly after the race which I haven’t experienced before but am putting it down to one of those things. But anyway, even better than my PB was seeing my sister in law, Hannah, finishing her race after doing a half the day before! Before this challenge she didn’t run much at all and there she was doing a half and a 10k in 2 days. WOW just WOW.
Nipped then to the rugby club where my wife was doing a cake sale with a friend who was also raising money for her charity to sell some fairy cakes and help/hinder where possible (over £200 raised so brilliant effort)
2:30pm New Forest 10k
Quick drive to depths of the New Forest to the New Forest Running Festival who were running races all weekend. My wife and sister in law had told me the course was a little hilly from their half the day before, so I wasn’t exactly looking forward to this one. But met the race organiser who let me go off with the half marathoners (15 min earlier than the 10K) so that I could get to the next race in time. Lovely race organisation, low key and friendly and everyone very nice and chatty. Anyway, the race itself was great (apart from the hills!) but lovely scenery and friendly runners. I even saw a Hedgie!!! (they get everywhere)
BUT whilst I forgot to take any photos, because I had left a little early when the lead bike caught me with the proper 10k runners, he got a little confused and was the lead bike for me for about 1 minute. In that minute though, I was a cross between Mo Farah and Roger Bannister winning the Gold medal… Then the lead bike looked at a chubby, sweaty, out of breath runner and the skinny speedy chap next to me and took the right option and cycled away! But for that minute….
4:30 West End 10k for MNDA
I finished the New Forest race, walked to the car park dumped my stuff in the car and drove to West End and arrived in the car park at 4:25! I must have looked a sight trying to drive whilst eating a sandwich, drinking lucozade and trying to get ready to jump out of the car and run. At this point I should apologise to the lady who was parked opposite me in the Virgin car park when I decided to “Vaseline Up”. It can’t be pleasant seeing someone who has run two races apply the Vas between his legs… oh well!
Anyway, for this race I was the sweeper to run at the back and make sure everyone got round safely. I hadn’t realised this involved carrying a flag on my back! This, my wife who was also doing the race, found very amusing. The naughty schoolboy pose is one I’ve perfected over the years… see below
If running with a flag on your back, avoid bus stops, low hanging signs and trees! Quite a challenge when running through the village and then through a park!
Brilliant run organised by Ang for her charity MNDA and I had a lovely time with my running wife Yvonne getting people round the course, especially Mr Singh! 62 years old, running in his school shoes and last time he ran was at school. I wont lie, I thought at times I may need to do CPR but he got round and he smashed it! He was so determined and so lovely to run with. 1:15 for a 10k in his first race in 50 odd years!!! He gave me a perfect end to the day and showed me the personal courage and determination I’ll need for the marathons.
Ang raised a lot of money from the event, and I hope this becomes an annual fixture in the West End Calendar.
Conclusion of the day and mini challenge
We did it, we bloody did it! Gemma ran the St Patricks 5k, New Forest Half and West End 10k; Hannah ran the New Forest Half and Eastleigh 10k and I did my races.
We have broken through the £2000 mark in fundraising terms with still more events to come and that means a lot to all of us but also the fact that friends and family are supporting us as they can see how much time and effort we’re putting into this.
Personally, I have got some confidence back and really really enjoyed my running this weekend. The support was great and I felt strong. Whilst the kick in the virtual balls from the last half hasn’t gone away, I hope when I do the Cardiff half next weekend the confidence is there. But anyway, I’ll be asking myself when the going gets tough, “What would Mr Singh do?”