One of the things I've loved since we all started running is going to new places and trying new runs. I spotted the Jacob's Leg It 10k (formerly the Belle Vue House 10k) on a twitter post and on closer inspection I signed up straight away. It's a charity race where all the proceeds go to the National Autistic Society so although it was taking place in Ormskirk (a nearly 2 hour drive) I really wanted to support it. Even better, when I checked out their facebook page, I discovered there would be a children's fun run as well.
The run is named for the son of the director of O2 Ormskirk (race sponsor), who like Sam, has autism. There is a tendency for some children with autism to 'leg it' hence the rest of the race name! Sam was very much a bolter when he was younger. He has chilled out as he's gotten older, but getting into running has at least given me and Andy a decent chance of being able to catch him when he does decide to sprint off!
We got up very early yesterday and left the house just after 7am in order to get to Edge Hill University for registration opening at 9am. The sky was blue and the sun was out, but I was getting a little nervous about the freezing temperatures! Luckily, by the time we got there it had warmed up. It was a fantastic location in terms of facilities. There was a massive car park just off the running track where the start/finish was, toilets were inside the university building and plenty of them. I collected my running number, and we went back out into the sunshine to wait for the children's race to start. William was desperate to run as he was enamoured with the track having never run on one before. Sam was a happy flappy boy, watching everything being set up and listening to the music being played from the DJ's stage.
The children's race started on the other side of the track to the finish and involved 3.75 laps of the track. William was able to do this one independently whilst Andy ran with Sam and I saved my legs for the 10k! After his first lap, William gave me the thumbs up with a cheeky smile and kept going. Sam was right at the back but seemed to be enjoying himself.
Once William had passed me for the third time I jogged across to the finish line to get his photo and cheer him in. He was given a certificate and sweets for his efforts and looked very proud. Sam was the last one in but got a huge cheer. I'm not sure if he thought his certificate was a race number as he tried to smooth it onto his shirt! I have laminated both certificates now as William wants to take his into school for show and tell this week.
Once the boys had finished, I got myself ready for the 10k to start. I'm very glad I decided on shorts and short sleeves as the sun was really warming things up. The run started with nearly a full lap of the track (managed to get a high five off William before I disappeared) before leaving to wind round the grounds of the university and heading out on the roads.
I suprised myself with the speed I did the first kilometre in but managed to find a good pace once on the road. Just coming up to 5k the course turned onto an unpaved and rather pot holey lane with a slight incline. Must admit I had a walk for 30 seconds or so here as my legs weren't liking it. I was very glad to get back on the road. At about 6k the course takes you through woodland where the water station was and this was quite nice, and luckily not muddy. The path then opened out to the back of the university and the last 2.5km takes in the university grounds, including half a lap of the running track to the finish. My garmin said 1.05.39 which I was really pleased with. And the official chip time was 1.05.29 so I was only 25 seconds off the time of my last 10k. And just to make things better I was handed a medal which the website hadn't mentioned on signing up so I was very happy. I also got a bottle of water and mars bar (which I got one bite of before William begged it off me).
We headed home feeling very tired, but in a 'had a fab time' sort of way! It was great to come to a new place to run and know we were supporting a great charity. I would definitely recommend this one to anyone and I hope we come back again next year.