On Sunday we were up very early to get to Sefton Park in Liverpool for the Liverpool Spring 10k and their children's race, the Spring Dash. We got there shortly before the one way restrictions around the park were put in place so managed to hunt and find a parking space on the outer edge of the park just a short walk to the start/finish line. Unfortunately it had been raining heavily all morning and was raining when we arrived. We had put the boys in their wellies with the intention of going back for their trainers just before their run was due to start. So glad we did as there were a lot of puddles about!
We collected the boys running numbers (which incidently had their names on - a great added touch!) and had a wander about, including a go on the bouncy castle until pretty much the start time of the 10k! Luckily it had stopped raining by this point so I stripped off my jogging bottoms, hoodie and jacket ready to start.
I've never been in such a large race before. I headed to the red start as I'd put my 10k time at over an hour. The crowds were enormous but I managed to spot where Andy was waiting to watch us set off with the boys thanks to the giant helium balloons they'd gotten just before the start! I hurriedly handed him my cap which I'd changed my mind about wearing and waited. We eventually heard the countdown but it took me 2 minutes to reach the start. Not a worry though as it was chip timed and I set my garmin off just before going through the start.
|Spot the Cheetah|
We were all quite bunched up for a few minutes and I was trying to make my way around those going a bit slower than me. Eventually we started spreading out a little and I managed to get going with a good pace. Just before my garmin hit 5k was the water station, but I didn't stop as I wanted to try for a 5k PB. Didn't quite manage that but came very close!
My legs were feeling like lead weights after that point, but not too long afterwards I spotted a yellow balloon being bumped about and then spotted that it was attached to Sam's raincoat. Seeing them there was a real boost and I found myself speeding up again. The marshals were fantastic, and really encouraging but there's nothing like seeing your family to keep you going.
I rounded the second to last corner and the finish line became visible again and I spotted that yellow balloon again along the edge! I ran in as best as I could, although a sprint finish was a bit out of the question as my energy was just zapped.
|Another bonus - free finish line photography! Thank you! (even if I look very worn out!)|
Thrilled to have finished with a PB according to my garmin, I headed to the t-shirt funnels to collect my goody bag and t-shirt. It took what felt like an age to get through, but boy was it worth the wait. Fantastic tech t-shirt and gorgeous medal! I later discovered that my chip time for the run was 1.03.12, knocking 2 minutes off my previous 10k PB!
The children's race started after the main race had finished. William wanted to run it by himself which was fine by me. It was only on park paths and I was a little tired. Andy ran with Sam. They set off down the path to a loop in the path and then headed back again.
William didn't stop the whole way and Sam did his parkrun speed which still got him back in within 12 minutes. Very proud of them both. It was whilst waiting for them that the other WWC found me and helped cheer the boys in. The boys both received an excellent medal and the same goody bag as the 10k runners.
Seeing as the sun had come out, we all enjoyed a picnic packed lunch before heading home. Andy and I both agreed it was a very well organised event with a great atmosphere. I hope we'll be coming back again next year.