Monday, 18 March 2013

Shepley First School Fun Run

Finally the day of the Fun Run arrived and after quick breakfast I was itching to get up there and set it up. Dexter was also very excited to help set up, so Dexter and I went up with signs piled up on Dexters lap. We were up at the Windmill nursery and Coffee shop at 8.30 and to no surprise the gates were shut. It wasn't necessary that the gates were open so we headed off on the route with my running app going. This was to let us know what distance we were at, so we could place the distance markers in the right place. In certain places I had signs to warn drivers and other traffic that there was a fun run taking place. When we arrived at the 4km mark I had some arrows to show runners the way as this was the first big turning on the route. This was also the place where Dean our first Marshal will be for added safety and help. Then a bit further along the route was a smaller and easier turning to miss, so this is where Katherine was our second Marshal. From this point on it was just signs to show the route as it was fairly obvious which way we would have to go. At 7km we had a water station which being managed by my mum, this was also the turning point for the 5k runners who were running the opposite way round to the 10k runners. Dexter and I arrived back at the coffee shop just after 9am so I decide to take him home and get changed before coming back up to finish off setting things up. As we pulled in at home my Dad and Janice had arrived to help and not long later my sister Jodie and her son Liam turned up. So I left them all catching up and set off back up to the start to carry on with setting up. I reached the start at 9.50 and people were already turning up so I had to quickly park up and get sign up sheets out followed by their numbers. As my Marshals and family turned up things got sorted a lot quicker, so I could start getting ready for the run myself. I sent Dean and Katherine off to there spots and my mum to her water station and as everyone turned up it was clear that it was going to be a good morning.

There were a few runners that couldn't be there for various reasons like injuries/illness and other commitments, but the silliest reason had to be my failure to ring Luke at 9.00am to wake him up. He had been out on the lash with other friends the night before (his fault) but I had known about this and agreed to ring him to make sure he got up in time. I had only remembered this promise at 10.20am ten minutes before the start of the run. The atmosphere was building at this point and with everyone doing their warm ups and getting good luck hugs from family it was clearly time to get everyone to the start.

 The time came to start the run so we all went out onto the road where the start line was and we gathered facing the correct direction for the distances we were running. We had also a couple of late changes which meant we had 3 people doing the 10k on bikes. After a last bit of route info from me, Sarah-Jane gave the 5 second countdown and we were off.

We set off down the hill towards the first corner and the first killer of a hill up to the viewing point. At the top we turned left onto the 2.5km steady downhill, this meant my split times were great in the mid 4mins. From 3km to 5km is a steady uphill which drained the stamina of most of the runners and possibly even a couple of the bikers. 5-7km is a nice stretch of little ups and downs to keep you on your toes, but it was here when my knee started to feel a little sore. My times were still not too bad in the mid 5mins but I ruined that by stopping at the water station to talk to my mum. I told her off a little which was a bit of a role reversal, as she was in the wrong place. She was, as well as a water station the turn around point for the 5km runners, and as she was in the wrong place the 5km run turned into a 6km run. There was only 2, 5km runners in the end and as I found out later they didn't mind too much. I got going again and the little rest actually helped my sore knee and I felt good and was ready to tackle the final hill. It's not a very big hill but its about 1km long and then when you finally reach the top and turn a slight corner you can see how long you've got left to go. There is about 1.5km till the finish and its lined by 100ft tall windmills and its mainly downhill until the finish. It's a great finish straight or at least I think so, even if after 9km I landed funny on my left and my knee gave in. I managed to run another 100m before I had to walk, then as I got closer to the finish I could hear people cheering runners across the line. This gave me a boost and I pushed through the initial pain and was running again. As I got to the finish everyone cheered me across the line which was a great feeling and a very nice finish to a great run bad knee and all. As you crossed the line there was Dexter Liam, Clark and Phoebe handing out the bottles of water wrapped in a T-Shirt and medal for taking part.

 The Kids loved being involved and some of the other kids were running the last 10m-20m in with the runners. I was about 15th of the 31 people doing the 10k or at least I think I was, we should have taken note of who came where just for personal reference, as its a fun run not a race. A few of us kept our own times because we like to know what we've done but it would be another thing we could do for next time for everyone.

A few people had other things to do and got off soon after finishing the run which is understandable the rest of us stayed to welcome everyone across the finish line. The last of which was Rachael Briody but she new she would be as her training hadn't gone to plan and was almost considering doing the 5km. She got a big cheer as she crossed the line and was clearly pleased with herself and so she should be. Now all the runners had finished we had a photo to commemorate the day as some people had left they missed out on the photo.

 I gave Dean and Katherine a T-Shirt and medal for helping out before they left and I also thanked the Windmill Nursery and coffee shop for letting us use their car park and facilities. Everyone was happy with the Fun Run and I got lots of thanks for a well organising event, which was nice and finished off a great day. We were all done and on our way home by 11.50am, but 1 thing occurred to me as I was packing up. Where were the St John Ambulance first aiders we had organised, I asked Sarah-Jane if she had seen anyone but nothing. It was a good job no one was in need of first aid and I hope I don't have to pay for them still. The day went well no one was hurt and everyone had a great time so it was a success and will hopefully be the first of many. The attention now goes to the sponsor money and how much we've raised for the school. Early indication is that this is going to raise a lot of money and it will surprise some people how much.

A big thanks has to go to Shepley Spring for supplying the water and the T-Shirts as they made the Fun Run a little more special

I will update this post with more photos if/when people send me some of theirs that they took on the day, but until then keep running everyone.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

1 week until the Shepley FS Fun Run 10k

This past Thursday I had to make another trip to Meadowhall to the sweatshop. For yet another change of shoes, as they were causing me blisters still. I had given them a bit more of a chance than the first pair and lasted 3 runs before I gave in whereas the first pair lasted 1 and a half runs. So after we dropped Dexter off at school Clark and I set off towards Meadowhall . We arrived at 9.40 and it was only then that I realised the shops don't open till 10am or at least the none coffee and breakfast shops don't. At this time of day Meadowhall is a different place completely, there aren't any shoppers really it's just people going to work and stopping in to get breakfast coffees etc. The only other people are shop staff and cleaners. The only thing I could compare it to is a bus station at 6.30 in a morning, where most people are still asleep and just on auto pilot until they get to work. Luckily Clark is a slow walker and by the time we had walked to the sweatshop at the other end of the shopping centre we only had to wait about 2 minutes until they opened up. Once there I was helped out by a guy who actually seemed to know what I was dealing with and said it was just a size issue and I needed a wider shoe. It just so happened that the shoe that suited me best was a top of the range New Balance shoe. Luckily for my feet I was ok with that and to be fair they did feel wider and the comfiest shoes I've tried on over all 3 visits. I was really pleased with them and couldn't wait to go for a run that evening with Rob. That afternoon I wore my new shoes to go pick Dexter up, to break them in a bit and to show them off too like a school boy showing his mates.

When the time came to go for a run I received a text from Rob apologising as he wouldn't be running as he was helping his girlfriend out with something at her work. So I decided that I would go out and try to run faster than usual as my average pace seems to have slowed and I think my cardio has suffered as a result. I completed 5k in just over 25mins a I was happy with that as I managed to keep up a good pace when running uphill and didn't let the downhills be used to catch my breath. I made sure I kept pushing downhill as I was pushing uphill, which showed me that I was right about my cardio as 5k was about all I could do at that pace. As a 5k it was a good time for me and at the end my feet felt as good as they did when I set off, so fingers crossed these shoes are here to stay.

Clark is willing to do the Fun Run too
Things for the Shepley First School Fun Run are going well still and on Wednesday i recieved an email from James at Shepley Spring (our sponsor) updating us on the Progress of the T-shirts. He also included a computer mock up of the T-Shirts and they look brilliant better than we were expecting. We still keep getting interest in the run to and we are now upto 37 runners with a couple of more still to come. Gathering enough marshals is more difficult than i expected but we have enough to cover the necessary areas and we will just have signs for the rest or the route.
I keep checking the Weather reports and its been a little stressful as it has gone from sunshine and warm to blizzards and -5 tempertures, at the moment its cool and a little cloudy which is fine by me. I would prefer blue skies and warm temperatures but come on its only the middle of March.
Keep running everyone 

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Less than 2 weeks until the 5k/10k Shepley First School Fun Run

It's getting close now to the Fun Run and the legs aren't in the condition that I would prefer. Rob and I went for a run on Monday and it wasn't long before our various niggles started to surface. Rob has a calf injury which causes a pins and needles type pain in his calf, and he can't figure out what is causing it or how to treat it either. I on the other hand have a usual type niggle of slight knee pain, probably caused by bad diet and not warming up properly. Rob managed 2 laps of our usual Monday route and I managed 3 before going home to rest said niggles. The pace we had kept when we were running was actually quite good all km were in the 5 minute bracket. My final km was mostly downhill so I managed a sub 5 time to finish.

The Fun Run is still gathering runners even at this late stage, we now have 36 runners. This is great but we still have a shortage of Marshals, we have about 3/4 so far but could do with a few more. It won't be the end of the world if we don't because we will just have to use signs. Luckily that is the only thing we are struggling with to do with the Fun Run. Everything else is sorted and ready or at least everything on my end is, Shepley Spring are supplying the water and a T-shirt each which I assume is going to be ready.

This week I'm going to have to change my shoes again as the second pair I got recently are still causing blisters. They don't hurt as much as the first pair but still around 6km get painful. It makes me wonder weather I ask for a refund and wait till I go out to France in the summer and get an identical pair to the ones I was running in before. My lovely step mother (Janice) bought me my first pair last summer in France when I was running in just normal trainers. It's only now that they look like the buy of the century as the fit first time never caused me any pain and are still going strong even now 7 months later. Well lets just wait and see what happens on my 3rd trip to the sweatshop.

As always I will keep you informed

Keep running everyone