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Smells like team spirit

Smells like team spirit

Earlier this year, I somehow found myself agreeing to run in the NRAS 10K, on the grounds that a couple of my colleagues were going to run it, and had decided to do it dressed as the village people, but their outfits wouldn’t make sense if they didn’t have at least a couple more runners. Worryingly, I think it was actually the costumes that swung it for me, as I have always loved fancy dress!

The day after I had said yes, I had come to my senses enough to look at how far 10K actually is (6.2 miles, to save you looking it up). This seemed fine to me. I would not say that I am a super-fit person, and I have never liked running, but I had already been walking at a fairly fast pace (4mph) on my treadmill for an hour most mornings, so if I was already doing 4mph, the extra 2.2 miles would be easy. I also play football sometimes (although when I’m tired I offer to go in goal for a while) and I go to aqua-fit classes once a week. So, in spite of people telling me that it was a bit of a big deal, I was pretty blasé about the whole thing, and far more interested in arranging my costume than I was in training myself for the run.

A week or 2 before the run was scheduled to take place, myself and the other 3 runners (Ruth Grosart, Sarah Drew and Sarah Ball) finally found an evening when we were all available to have a practice run together, round the business park (though not in costume this time). Running on hard ground, outside was a very different experience to my beloved treadmill, and I soon found myself struggling to keep pace. Although we had hoped to run together, it became clear to me that I would never be able to keep up. I was also slightly worried at how much 2 laps of our business park had taken out of me, and started to panic that I should have upped my training (I also felt slightly cheated by my treadmill, for lulling me into a false sense of security). However, the next day I drove round the business park to check the distance I had run and was pleased to see that 2 laps was one quarter of a 10K.

As you will no doubt have noticed, our summertime did not get off to the best of starts this year. It was therefore of little surprise when, the Friday before the race was due to take place (that Sunday morning) the heavens opened, and refused to close all day. I was now facing a muddy up-hill start, dressed as a construction worker, and the feelings of dread increased. Then, that afternoon we got a call to say that the course had become so water-logged that the race was cancelled! The mix of relief and disappointment that we all felt is hard to describe. I think we had all worried about our fitness levels for the race, but we were determined to run it, and we’d had sponsorship!

Deciding that it was now or never, we agreed to run the race around the business park. Initially there was talk of doing it as a relay, but we all felt that having been sponsored for 10K (a full 8 laps), this is what we were going to do.

So, on a perfect evening (it had rained heavily the evening before, and would rain heavily the evening after), the 4 of us set off around the business park dressed as the village people. My flimsy construction worker hat had to be ditched, as it wouldn’t have stayed on, but we all kept our moustaches on for at least a lap or 2.

I may have come last, but this was still a great achievement for me and the rest of my village people gang. This was a proud moment, and a great feeling of accomplishment and team spirit, not just for those of us that ran, but for colleagues who stayed late just to cheer us across the finish line.

If you want to view more photos of this event (or retrospectively sponsor us), please visit our JustGiving page:

Best wishes

Victoria Backhurst

(NRAS helpline)

3 Replies

Well done Victoria, it must have felt great to finish it.



It definitely did. We all felt fine the next day as well, but the day after we were really aching!


Well done Victoria, not only finishing but sticking with it. Hope your all proud of yourselves.



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