You can still show your support and donate to my successful Race for Life in support of Cancer Research UK here.
This will stay at the top for a bit longer, read down for newer posts.
Here I gave an overall perception of the Race for Life in Swindon, this post is all about my personal Race.
We arrived in sunshine, albeit a little cold, and I had high hopes that the weather would hold off, but black clouds started massing on the horizon as we waited for the whole shooting match to kick off.
There were women everywhere; fat women and thin women, old women and young women, women in shorts and women in trousers. With all the women there were men; husbands, fathers, brothers and sons.
By the time the aerobic warm-up started there had to have been 4,000+ people in the paddock. The rain held off until the nice athletic man started taking us through the aerobic warm-up (that was fun and energetic!) and the rain started......and it bucketed down. Before long the event had become the biggest wet t'shirt competition in the world with 2,000 women prancing around in soaking clothes.....and laughing! Yep - laughing.
Some were trying to do their routine under umbrellas and others, like me, threw caution to the winds and let themselves get soaked and thoroughly enjoyed every moment. I threw a glance over my shoulder and all the men were huddled under the Sun Smart pavilion (I love the irony of that!) sheltering from the downpour.
Then the race began in earnest. Women gathered around the start, runners in front, walkers behind, saying farewell to loved ones - reminiscent of families being parted by war or illness....and this is when the whole emotion of the day hit me. I had no husband to say goodbye to - or to wish me luck. When given the option, MB elected not to accompany me, so CK came instead. There was no less support - in fact, probably more. CK hugged me tight and wished me luck and I left with his final words ringing in my ears 'Remember - DON'T RUN!'......
As I quick-marched around the course, I had little chance to admire the grounds of Lydiard Park. I couldn't look up for too long because in front of me were a forest of back plaques, with names of those loved and lost enscribed on them. So much heartbreak. I also noticed they started to come loose and fall off after the first kilometre. About half way around I felt for my back plaque and found it had also come off in the rain and exercise.
The route was spotted with pink back plaques like mine, with names and dates on. They weren't litter, so much as memories proudly carpeting our route. Even though they have probably been cleared by now - the names of family and friends are indelibly engraved into the grounds of Lydiard Park by the feet of 2,000 women desperate to help rid the world of the evil that is cancer and keen to ensure their loved ones didn't die in vain.
As I crossed the line, the clock showed 54 minutes and 26 seconds. I wanted to complete in less than an hour, and I did it. I just marched across the line, walked straight into CK's arms and burst into tears.
Prego asked if the tears were emotion or exhaustion - they were definitely emotion....after a cup of coffee and a five minute sit down I was still wired and ready to go again........ :-)