Race For Life 10K

Race-For-Life_0Today was the day of Brighton’s Race For Life 10K – a fundraiser in support of Cancer Research UK.

I signed up for it months ago and was originally hoping that by the time race day came around, I would be getting pretty close to the 60 minute mark for my 10K time.

Of course, over the months that followed, my plans changed. I signed up for other events and other priorities took over. I was still training hard, but just not for a 10K race; so by the time I should have been ready to refocus on Race For Life, my body just wasn’t up to it.

Still, I wasn’t going to back out of the chance to run a race, so I adjusted my focus and decided that Race For Life would be a training run, an experience and an opportunity to enjoy a different type of race – and I certainly wasn’t disappointed on that score!

The event was to take place in Stanmer Park, next to Sussex University. Race For Life didn’t publish the route beforehand so, after checking out Google maps and seeing that there weren’t any paths on the map, I figured it might be a good idea to wear my trail shoes, just in case. And I was glad that I did.

2014-07-05_Map

It turned out that the route was all grass and trails, which was a lot of fun, especially on the downhill sections. The uphill, on the other hand, wasn’t so much fun, particularly as the first hill was right at the start. This caused a bottle neck which pretty much brought everyone to a halt and meant that we all had to walk for at least half a kilometre until it thinned out a bit.

The first couple of kilometres were a bit frustrating as, even when things did thin out, a lot of people were blocking the path by walking in the middle of it instead of keeping to the left to allow people to pass. That, and the fact that I forgot to start my Garmin as I crossed the start line, meant that my pacing went completely to pot.

2014-07-05_Pace

After the second kilometre, however, things started to get more interesting. There was a good downhill stretch which enabled me to pick up my pace quite a bit to try to make up for the slow start, which gave my spirits a huge lift.

There was another small hill just before the water stop at the half way point, so I took a walk break and got some water. Again, this slowed things down more than it should have as the water station was basically a table with a load of two litre bottles of water and about a dozen plastic cups which we had to fill ourselves.

After stopping for water though, it was kind of hard to get going again. The course was two laps of 5K which meant climbing the hill again and, after my speedy descent over the last couple of kilometres, my legs were starting to feel it.

2014-07-05_Elevation

Even though I did my best to keep running, I eventually realised that I would have to walk most of the sixth kilometre to preserve some energy for the finish.

I knew it wasn’t going to be a great time, but I didn’t mind. I picked up the pace for the downhill and, with only a couple of short walk breaks after that, I was able to pick it up again for a strong finish and a high five for the guy with the giant hand at the finish line.

Despite the bottle neck at the top of the hill and the poorly organised water station, on the whole it was a lot of fun; and even though I’m rubbish at running uphill, the trails did make it much more fun than running on flat roads and paths.

As for my finish time? Well, the clock said 1:14:00 and my Garmin said 1:12:59, so given the fact that I started the Garmin late then I’d guess that 1:14:00 is probably closer, which isn’t too bad all things considered.

Have you done Race For Life or other events organised by charities? What did you think of the overall organisation? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

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6 responses to “Race For Life 10K”

  1. shazruns says :

    Wel done. I love race for life it’s what got me running ten years ago, we do the 5k route most years in memory of a dear friend who was my mum when I lived
    Away from home, I love the sentiment behind it all and the atmosphere

    • theblogrunner says :

      I love the fact that RFL has got so many people into running and it’s a great way to raise money and awareness. The atmosphere was very different from other events that I’ve done. Perhaps it’s partly to d with it being a women only event – although there was one guy wearing a wig and a dress, but I guess that’s Brighton for you. 😉

  2. Leah Hallissey says :

    I’m doing the Portsmouth 10k on the 19th. Haven’t been blogging myself but I have been keeping up with yours. Training has been once a week for around 4.5 – 6km as I’ve been so busy, but hoping my mum and sister will drag me round! Congrats on your time!

  3. artisticsharon says :

    Glad you enjoyed your run and I think that’s a pretty darn good time! I’ve only done one trail run and I worried the whole time that I was going to twist my ankle or fall flat on my face so I was not able to enjoy it. A little more time and you’ll be back to your old pace.

    • theblogrunner says :

      Thanks Sharon. Even though it wasn’t as fast as I would have liked, just taking part and completing it really gave me a much needed boost. The trail surface was pretty even so I wasn’t too worried about tripping and falling. In saying that though, I do have a tendency to throw caution to the wind and get a bit carried away sometimes, so I guess I should be a bit more careful on the descent. 🙂

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