To read all about my 10k challenge, head over to my JustGiving page. Here you will find information about the event and why I participated.
It’s not too late to donate! My page is open until 18th August 2014. If you know someone who would like to support Save The Children or The Mustard Tree, you can share the page with them, if you like 😉
An (unexciting) account of the Bupa Great Manchester Run 2014
I woke up early, allowing plenty of time for stressing out about which T-shirt would be the right colour (not too dark because of radiation, not too light because of my pasty skin tone). I gathered all my bits and pieces for the day and set off on an adventure! I was suprised simply by the buzz at the Metro station, by how many people were already in their gear and chatting excitedly about the day. I looked like a loner (as usual), waiting impatiently for the tram to arrive. I met my friend and her mum along the way, and we travelled together for the rest of the journey, somehow on possibly the quietest carriage that would be on the tracks that day. Together we walked to the meeting point, noticing how different the city looked when everyone passing had a smile on their face and there were no cars hooting at the crowds swarming the streets. (To me, it felt a little like a fictional, futuristic world, where maybe we had to earn our place in humanity’s last remaining army to battle it out against plague-infested zombies…)
At the meeting point, a couple of teachers and IB students were milling about, waiting for the rest of the group. Ann and I explored the vicinity (ie. Sainsbury’s and some near-by toilets in a snazzy bowling alley) before returning for group photos and brief pep-talks. Also, I hadn’t yet put on my tracking device, and my number needed fixing on my t-shirt for the thousandth time. With everyone finally there, our group meandered through the streets to find the starting point for our Wave of runners. We were all packed in like sardines (or, more realistically , like fangirls at the All Time Low concert in the Academy) and I could feel the temperature rising dramatically from all the people-heat-radiation. This was a little unsettling for me, considering it was already midday and probably the hottest day of the year so far; how much hotter could it get? We stood there for at least 40 minutes, squished between Star Wars costumes and hormonal women ploughing push-chiars unsuccessfully around us. Then it was go time. Well, for the Green Wave, anyway. The Green Wave was the one before ours, and once they set off, we could shuffle further forwards into the queue for the next starting time: 12.30pm.
When it finally was the Pink Wave’s starting time, I could feel adrenaline surging through my body. I was ready to take on the challenge!
As we approached the starting line, the queue narrowed and we filtered through a gated area so that we had more space on the other side to move freely. I started off jogging with Ann and Naomi, and somehow – somehow – I managed to keep it up for a whole kilometre! I think it’s because I had so much adrenaline from the anticipation and I just needed to release it all before I exploded or something… I don’t think I’ve ever jogged for this long continuously, and I never expected to achieve this. After the 1km mark, it became clear that Ann wanted to carry on running, so I insisted that she should go on without us – it would have been unfair to make her wait. Naomi and I decided to walk next because we needed to rest, and this was what I had been practising anyway. There was no point in burning out so early on. Within two minutes, I realised that Naomi was no longer beside me, and she was nowhere to be seen when I turned around. I panicked a bit (“You MUST stay together, girls!”) and felt bad for abandoning her, but continued on with the walk.
I actually really enjoyed walking my way around the course. There were 2 showers (which were kind of pathetic, but did their job) and a water station (grab all the bottles!) to keep us going in the intense heat. There were just so many people, all raising awareness for some amazing causes. The positivity in the (half-polluted, Mancunian) air was practically tangible, and I gleaned such a good feeling from participating. The supporters along the barriers of the course were all cheering and giving high-fives as we came past. There were even buses parked along the sides, flying huge banners and carrying cheerleaders waving smaller banners. Some participants passed me in wheelchairs, and this was really inspiring.
At every marked kilometre, I felt a sense of pride and even more determination than I’d felt during the past kilometre. It was like satisfactorily ticking off chores from a long list.
I completed the 10km course in exactly 1 hour, 29 minutes, and 7 seconds. I was super-proud of this result! Initially, I wasn’t planning on racing against the clock. But during my training, I worked out that I could probably aim for around 1 and 3/4 hours. I can’t believe I did it in less than 1.5 hours!
Afterwards, I received a goody bag with a t-shirt and medal, and was rewarded with a chocolate frappuccino from my parents. I had to make a few phone calls to anxious relatives, and give them some feedback on the event. Then I rested, and although I was fine at first, by the end of the day, I was completely zonked!
All in all, I really enjoyed the event. Originally, I refused to do it. But now I’m so pleased that I achieved a great goal, and was able to raise a phenomenal amount of money for charity at the same time. I may even participate next year! Who knows?
If you have been brought to this page via my JustGiving page, this message is for you. Thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you for supporting me, but more importantly, for supporting two charities that will put your donations to excellent use. It means a lot to me that you have been able to sponsor me for this event, and I really appreciate your generosity. As you can see, I have been successful in this challenge (thankfully) and look forward to many more in the future. Thank you for taking the time to read my account of the Run. Please stick around to browse through the rest of my blog! 🙂 Lot of love xxx
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