Couch to 5K
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78 out of 125 - not great but I'd have been 125th 12 weeks ago

So, I completed my 5k charity run and thanks to the fantastic generosity of my friends and family we raised nearly £500 for Positive East.

Wasn't my best time, 33 minutes 12 seconds, but it was great fun. Was really very nervous fearing I would get carried away and try to keep up with the fast pace at the start. But I stuck with my Stepping Stone Podcast and tried to ignore what was going on around me and it sort of worked. My plan had been to zoom in on someone's bottom and follow them, but it never worked. Every bottom I clocked onto tended to zoom off ahead of me and then slow down to a walk, and that wasn't going to work for me. I had no intention of walking and every intention of finishing.

So ignoring all bottoms, even the pert ones, I got into my Laura zone and plodded away on my own and it was great fun. I know I could have gone faster but this was about finishing and raising the money for the charity not about me being silly and messing up.

One particularliy pesky teenager kept running like the clappers and overtaking me and then running out of steam and struggling even to walk, so I would then overtake him and 5 minutes later he would bolt past me and collapse. It was a game for him, but in the end I won - with 200m I hear him sprinting behing me and about to overtake right in front of my friends who'd come along to support me. Enough was enough - I was having none of it and nearly burst a lung by sprinting ahead of him and I beat him by 5 seconds. Silly I know, but I certainly won my own little race. Not bad for a chunky 51 year old who could not run for a minute 3 months ago.

Not sure I am confident enough to join my local park run yet as they are all so fast and I would feel demotivated if I was left behind, so need to come up with a plan to somehow speed up on my own and then I'll get into the park run scene too.

If anyone has a first charity run coming up, best of luck. Hope you have as great a time as I did. Can't wait for my next one .


8 Replies

That is fantastic well done you some great money raised. I did my first park run on Saturday was nervous couldn't keep up with the pack bit I decided I was running for me. Time you have nothing to worry about mine was 41.10 to a total none runner until August. They clapped and gave me encouragement I will certainly be going back x x but well done you did good



Hey Tom, that's brilliant! A good time indeed even if not a PB. I like the plan with the bottoms; shame it didnt work though ;0)

As for the race with that pesky teenager, I think I would have been exactly the same as you and been determined to beat him at all costs.....nothing like a few mind games to stir us into action so maybe he was there for a reason!

I havent run with a group as yet and that is still one of my goals to tick off the list but there is no rush; I am just enjoying my runs during the week and hoping to build up my speed and stamina gradually. I just love running with no pressure and because I can!!



Keep running and keep enjoying. I wouldnt exactly describe mine as a crowd, 76 of them were 100m ahead, 46 of them were 100m behind (and some of them nipped into the pub I think on lap 3) and so it was just me and the pimpled teenager most of time. Oh and a few old ladies sitting on a bench saying "I wonder where they are all rushing off to...."


Well done you:) A good time, even if it wasn't a PB but things are different when running with others. Give your local park run a go...your time is decent so you probably won't be at the back and if you are so what (that's where I am at Orpington and we are a friendly bunch) coz parkrun is all about you running against the clock.


Brilliant job! And all for charity. And well done on showing that young whipper-snapper how it's done too!


Fantastic, very, very well done indeed!

And putting that pimply teenager in his place too...and how corageous you are chusan! BRAVO :-)


I came in at 111/125. I ran all the way round and there was a guy who came in behind me who also ran all the way round. However, looking at the results, and the race numbers of people in some of the photographs, and having been at the back of the pack with the stragglers I'm sure some of the walk/runners only did two circuits!

I met a couple of people at the beginning, and one of them shot off, but she was walking around about 60 m in front of me on the second lap. As I passed her I said something encouraging about it taking me a long time to catch her, and she said that she didn't have it in her that day. Two minutes later she ran past me calling out that she had found some energy. Then she stopped 50 m ahead of me and walked again. As I passed her she told me that she felt like running again, ran 50 m ahead of me, and started walking again. Something about this really aggravated me!

Anyway, I decided to sprint for the finish, and someone called out, go on girl, strong finish, which I found encouraging. I was a bit surprised that the promised soup was cold, albeit a welcome gift! Unpacking the goody bag in front of some young relatives meant that I had to explain to a small child what a condom is. He appeared to already know!


Well done, it was a great day and yes I was a bit shocked at the cold soup, which went into my bag and is now in the fridge. I wonder if there was a microwave somewhere and we were meant to go heat it up ourselves.

I also suspected some walkers only did two laps - I lapped a dog walker half way round when I was on my second lap and they "finished" about 5 minutes before me!!! Anyway, its not about the time of others, its about us doing what we set out to do and we achieved it. I'm even now seriously considering following your dedication and entering for a 10k but not sure I am up to the training. I think I might get bored running that far/long as I have a short attention span:-)

It certainly was an interesting and relevant goodie bag - I thought I'd been given a free Oyster Card and then realised it was a condom. The fact that the small child already knew what one was is maybe testimony to the good work the charities had done in raising awareness of HIV/Aids. Can only be a positive sign for the health of our future teenagers.

Maybe I'll have that soup for my lunch, after my run. Keep up the great work and training.


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