So thrilled to announce that this morning myself and my friend and mentor Jon-Michael successfully crossed the finish line of the 8.5 mile Great Midland Fun Run 2014. (That's 13.5 kilometres to pretty much everyone in the world.) It was an unpleasantly hot day with nary a cloud in the sky, nor the vaguest hint of a breeze, and compared to the torrential downpour of last Saturday, it was not the best weather to be running in.
It goes without saying that the atmosphere of the crowd at an event like this is phenomenal, and the presence of familiar faces like my friend Fiona, and neighbours John, Bridget, Jill and Hannah made all the difference too. The sense of community is amazing. People were sat in their gardens cheering along the main roads, and the local vicar had set the church choir up on the lawn to sing to the crowds while he stood on the churchyard wall to cheer us on. The last mile and half wasn't quite the breeze it was last time, but I still somehow managed to sprint the last 100 yards or so once the finish line was in sight - and what a sight it is after covering that distance in the blazing sun!
Jon and I reckon we came in at about 1 hour 40, my initial target but a little slower than my practice time, but we are still awaiting the official results. We did, however, get our medals!
And the best part of it was, immediately after we had to rush back to the Hilton Metropole to continue the rest of our fundraising as part of the costumed-character entertainments at UK Games Expo. So it has been a busy busy day!
The Just Giving total for Alzheimers Research has come in at £125 for my run, plus £537.68 from our work over the weekend at the Expo.
Suffice to say I am feeling extremely proud of myself. Six months ago I couldn't run for much more than 30 seconds without getting out of breath. To achieve so much in such a short space of time feels amazing. Many many thanks to the people of SE Fitness who spurred me on drastically in the past four weeks and propelled me from 1.8 miles to 5.5 in a single session, and I have to give a shout-out to Jon, too, for all the encouragement and advice he's given. The guy is an inspiration and I can't thank him enough for everything he's done to help me get to this point.
EDIT: I've just found out the temperature was a sunny 20 C with a lazy wind of only 4mph. So we were, for the most part, literally running faster than the wind!