Ran my first 'race' yesterday. Just me and 13,999 others... It was a race for life so I knew it was people just aiming to get around the 5k course in any way they can so I knew not everyone would be running. But I did, and I loved it. Wouldn't have felt justified in collecting sponsor money if I hadn't.
Didn't sample much of the pre-race atmosphere (apart from the nervous anticipation in the queue for the portaloos - will they be clean [no] will there be paper [no]) as we were later arriving than expected due to the hordes of people everywhere. Didn't really think of that beforehand! Lined up with 'runners' but I was by then in fourth wave, with dogs on leads, babies in buggies and all manner of pink paraphernalia around me.
So the the countdown and we were off! Wait a minute, why's no one running? Oh well, just me then? Off I go, wait, there's another, and someone else...oh, they've stopped, never mind, keep going, in and out, side to side, watch that dog's lead, oh, and that pink wand, 1k mark, hard to notice supporters or buildings as have to concentrate on not tripping or bumping into anyone, it's all so busy, 2k, then halfway, can do it now; already run this distance. Breathing ok, nothing's complaining, 3k, seeing the same runners, passing them, then they're passing me, 4k nearly there, into the park, then I hear 'mummy' and my children waving and smiling, speed up, final stretch, loads of support all around and then I'm through the line. 31 minutes, 10 seconds. And Tiger Woods is telling me I've run my fastest mile. Kind of him to arrange a personal message for my iPod!
I beat my previous fastest 5k time so really happy. I was on a high for the rest of the day, and still happy with the whole experience. I'm sure everyone, whether they walked, jogged, ran, or were dragged or pushed around were happy they did it. But I got back in the car and said 'I wish I had got under 30' and my husband said 'you've got the bug' and I really think I have. Thinking of working towards a 10k next!
To anyone thinking of running a 5k race or doing park run - just do it!