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Thursday, 6 January 2011

Running Man - The Boxing Day Run

After not stuffing my self to bursting on Christmas Day, I was ready and raring to go like Tigger from Winnie the Pooh, for the Clevedon Boxing Day Road Race. I had prepared well despite all the bad weather and training in temperatures as low as minus 12 to get my body ready for what could be a very long four mile race. With the training it was quite extreme but with being out injured slowed down my preparations then one of the worst starts to Winter came along and everywhere was ice or snow. So getting training runs in were very hard and even when I got home to Clevedon running through the fields full of snow next to the school were hard work as well. This did all pay off in the end as the race happened with rumours circling at the time that it was going to be off because of the icey conditions. This was not to be and also it had a family connection to the race as well, my Dad was involved in being a Marshall and my Uncle Dave was running it for the umpteenth time, he is a semi pro runner and has entered various marathons across the world. For him this is just a little run hahaha, I can see why he enjoys it so much and I have really caught the running bug.

Dad in his fetching Marshalling outfit
The circuit was starting on the beach and along through the town centre and up past Clevedon School and the dreaded hill which could be a mountain with it being very steep. So up that and it flattens out for a bit as you head past the Walton Park Hotel and along to the seafront finishing at the Little Harp. 

With the anticipation of the race starting at 11:00am, I was excited and nervous at the same time and wondering what time I would get at the end. Mum, Cheryl and drove down to Race Headquarters (The Little Harp Inn) and they got themselves a drink I got myself in the zone and warmed ready for the race. I think when you are at the start line and they are about to announce they are going to start is the most nerve raking time as you know that it will be another minute or two before you actually cross the finishing line. It was quite strange in a way of an outer body experience as I have done most of my running up in the North West and to be actually pounding the streets of your home town was quite surreal. When I got to Holly Lane the fog descended on to the hill and it looked like you had to run up Kilimanjaro with the runners in front disappearing into the fog laden hill. Once at the top I saw my Lucy (Cousin) and Luke (Cousin's husband) which was nice and kept me going after having to stop three quarters of the way up the hill. My chest and legs could not take it any more so I had to walk up the rest of that hill! On the way down I passed my Grandad Hoddell's grave and gave a little nod where he rests at St. Mary's Church. It is such a shame he died so young and I never got to meet him.

Going down hill felt so good after Holly Lane and then on to the final straight. By surprise I saw my Uncle Dave waiting near the No.5 Cafe where I used to work and he was waiting to run with me. Which was a fantastic gesture and it really helped me get across the finishing line. He had already finished the race in 25 minutes and he still looked fresh as a daisy, unlike me - see the picture below.

Me and Uncle Dave: guess who is out breath?

As I saw the finish line I really sprinted home and it was amazing to see Mum and Cheryl cheering me on to the finish line. It was really good that Mum was here to see me finish the race as she did not see me finish the Manchester 10K run I did back in May. Once I had crossed the finish line I felt like I was going to be sick like at the 10K run but it passed and wondered slowly back to Cheryl and my Mum and got a big hug all around. On the way back to the car it was so funny seeing my Dad run along with my Uncle Dave being cheeky to me. It really summed up a great morning and no my Dad did not have that fetching Marshall uniform he had on in the picture hahaha.

Peace, Love and Bananas xxx

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