Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Kendal Colour Dash

The day after the St George's 10k at Great Langdale we hit the road again. This time it was to Kendal for the first St John's Hospice Kendal Colour Dash, a 4k out and back route from Kirkbie Kendal School including a trip up and round Kendal Castle. Having done a colour run last year we knew the boys would have a great time at this, Sam especially.

We arrived in Kendal and parked up at the leisure centre next door in time for registration opening. Andy bought some bags of powdered paint and a coloured visor for each of the boys.

The 'before' pic!
We also spotted some of our running friends and Walney Wind Cheetahs. The wind was making us not want to take our hoodies off but we eventually shed them and Andy dashed to the car to put them away and we headed to the starting area. I lost track of William for a few seconds before spotting him on the playing field dancing to Taylor Swift's 'Shake it Off' which was being played by the DJ.

The crowd of colour dashers gathered for a warm up and then we noticed from part way across the group a cloud of colour rising up and the next thing the colour was everywhere! We opened up our bags and let the boys go for it!

Both were absolutely covered as the air horn sounded to start us off. I ran with William (or at least tried to keep up with him) for a turn around the playing field before being covered in pink at the first colour station. We then headed out of the school grounds and onto a path towards the castle. We'd lost track of Andy and Sam by this point!

The next colour station was blue and the cloud was so thick we couldn't see at all until we were out the other side! I believe Andy had a little trouble coaxing Sam to leave the blue area as he kept wanting to go back in! Then we climbed up the hill towards the castle and William was amazed with the view. 'You can see all of Kendal up here!'

Heading back down the hill we hit the orange station, then the red one shortly before turning back into the school. And there waiting for us was a medal!

What a fantastic surprise. We stayed close to the finish so I could get a photo of Sam and Andy coming in. Well, that is, I waited and William found a pile of pink powdered paint to be busy with.


We left Kendal thoroughly messy but had a ball taking part and for a good cause too.

The 'after' pic! 

Monday, 20 April 2015

St George's 10k at Great Langdale

This was the first run of last weekend!  We had to forego our beloved parkrun in order to drive up to Great Langdale in time as there was also a children's run which started at 11am.

The weather was sunny and warm on Saturday, and felt like a summer's day. We arrived at Great Langdale to the same stunning backdrop we saw when I took part in the Herdwick 10k last July. In fact the course was the same, apart from a few changes in the start/finish lines. We parked up in the nearby National Trust car park and discovered my friend from Lakes Single Mum had already arrived. After saying our hellos we headed to the registration gazebo. I picked up my running number and registered and paid for the boys to enter the children's run, a bargain at £3 each I thought. A small gathering of Walney Wind Cheetahs started forming as more from our running group arrived!

Nearing 11am, the children all gathered at their starting line on the road. The website didn't specify a distance for the children's run, only that it went to the next hotel and back but I figured it wouldn't be very long. Andy ran with Sam and I ran with William seeing as it was on the road and the road was still open to traffic.

Oh my, I slightly underestimated the distance (Andy later measured it at about 2.5k) but William ran brilliantly. Once we reached the field with the finish line in I let him get on with it. Shortly after, Sam ran in with Andy and both boys received a new medal to hang on their medal holders.

Half an hour later, I headed out to the start line for the 10k. I was a bit nervous even though I had run the course before. I was really hoping to beat my previous course time of 1hr 14mins. I didn't get off to an overly good start as my shoelace became untied as soon as we set off! I had to step aside and get it tied as there was no way I would have managed the entire 10k with a loose shoe!

Anyway, once I'd set off properly, I started remembering all the bits I found tough about the course last year. Mainly the hills. And also the heat. But mainly the hills!  Even in shorts and vest I was boiling in the April sunshine! I reached the 5k point at the Langdale Hotel in just under 32 minutes, and grabbed some jelly sweets from the water station on the other side. I did my best to run as much as I could on the way back but the climb upon leaving Chapel Stile but tough and I did have to start walking a bit. As tough as I found it, it's a gorgeous course and the stunning scenery makes the challenge worthwhile.

I reached the finish in 1.10.32, so was really pleased to have knocked 4.5 minutes off my previous course time. After having a drink I slowly made my way over to the t-shirt tent to pick up my reward! A well organised event I thought, in a lovely part of the Lake District.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Ulverston Pool Triathlon

Last Sunday was the Ulverston Pool Triathlon, which Andy had crazily signed up for (nothing to do with me!). This involved a 400m swim (16 lengths of the pool), 28k cycle, and 5.8k run. This was the first of a few 'bigger' challenges that Andy had set himself for the year.

When he registered he'd put down the slowest time for swimming which meant he got put in the first wave of solo participants at 8.45am, in fact being the first one to set off! We arrived at a very foggy Ulverston Leisure Centre early so he could pick up his timing chip, t-shirt, numbers for running and cycling and get his bike racked up with all his gear ready for transition. Andy got to be lucky number 13!

He headed into the changing rooms to get ready for his swim just as the relay teams began theirs. There were 5 Walney Wind Cheetah relay teams this year, so it was good to be there early to watch them set off swimming. Once they'd all finished, the first wave of swimmers, including Andy, dropped into the water. He'd not had too much practice swimming so was probably the most nervous for this bit. He did really well and managed to get finished in 13 minutes.

As soon as we realised he was finished the boys and I dashed out to see him off on his bike. We watched him cycle off and disappear into the thick fog toward the coast road. Sam wasn't overly happy during this period, I think he was confused about why we were at the pool and thought he was also going for a swim! Once he'd calmed down and started to watch the cyclists leaving and returning he had a great time.

I spotted Andy cycling back towards us through the fog and he headed back into the transition area to re-rack his bike and change shoes for running. I saw a glimmer of electric yellow and the WWC logo as he headed off in the other direction for his run.

Half an hour later he was back and headed for the finish. Andy was really pleased with his run time as his usual pace didn't seem to change even with all the activity he'd just completed. His total finish time was 2.01.16 and he was 220th overall out of 251 taking part. Very tired, but very happy to have completed his first triathlon! I say first because he was already discussing signing up to next year's triathlon in the car on the way home!

Thursday, 2 April 2015

2015 Challenge - March Update

Ok, I know it's now April, but the kids have been off school and we had the autism run at the weekend so I've only just had time now to write a March update for our 2015 challenge of running 2015 miles this year!

As of the end of March, we are now down to 1712.5 miles left to go! We've run a total of 105.5 miles this month, managing just a few more miles in March than we did in February.

We've had a great month of running, including Andy and Sam's 50th parkrun, the Port Sunlight runs and the Jacob's Leg It 10k. And not forgetting of course our virtual 5k Run for Autism.

We have an interesting month ahead for running and we should be increasing those miles now, not least of all because we'll be back running on Walney on a Monday and Wednesday night with the Walney Wind Cheetah Cubs group! Can't wait! Light evenings running along the beach path with friends... you just can't beat that! And the games section in the middle of the session makes it even better.

We've got other events coming up this month too. Andy is taking part in the Ulverston Sprint Triathlon on Easter Sunday, I am running the St George's Day 10k at Great Langdale whilst the boys run in the fun run and we're all taking part in the Kendal Colour Dash too!