Tuesday, 30 June 2015

SSAFA Saunter 10k at Holker Hall

Sunday 21st June was not an early start for a change! We left the house at a reasonable 9am and managed to hit two car boot sales before arriving at Holker Hall for 10.30am. We did this run last year and had the most epic picnic afterwards with the Walney Wind Cheetahs. This year they added on a children's run as well so the whole family could get involved. The weather had been looking iffy all week in the run up to the run and picnic so we were pleasantly surprised to find that it was only overcast and the rain stayed away!

The fun run was up first, 2km long, and the organisers kindly moved it to start half an hour before the main race which meant that parents were able to watch before heading off themselves. Andy ran with Sam and since the run was around the grounds of Holker and traffic free, we let William run independently. Both boys did really well, 2 laps round the course and then back to the finish for a medal and a goody bag! William of course finished before Sam did but ran back out to cheer his brother into the finish.

The main run started at 12pm and as usual, I set off too fast. My ankle was sore from running hard for a parkrun PB the day before and I could feel it through every foot fall. After 1km or so I was beginning to think that the 10k was a bad idea and that I'd have to walk the majority but after about 4-5km the ankle really loosened up and I was able run without pain. The route was last year's route in reverse, with a short section through woodland to finish. A few bits of gravelly path here and there, but mostly on paths. Was hoping to spot a dear here or there, but wasn't to be!

I managed to finish with a time of 1.05.01 which for me was quite reasonable, especially with the dodgy ankle! Got a lovely new medal to add to the collection and a goody bag too.

After the runners were all back we had a huge group picnic and we managed to eat a lot of cake as usual!

Monday, 22 June 2015

Liverpool Rock n Roll Half Marathon (and 1 mile run!)

Two Sundays ago (still catching up!) was a big day for Andy, due to run his first half marathon (well, first since his twenties anyway!). He'd chosen the Liverpool Rock n Roll Half Marathon, mainly because of it's flatness, although the bling was not bad either!

Since his race started at 9am in Liverpool it meant an ultra early morning start for us from Cumbria. We were up by 4am and out of the house by 5am. Managed to get to Liverpool and find the car park at the waterfront by 7am so we were quite early. We managed to find the tent where I could collect our running numbers from and then it was just a case of having a look round and waiting till Andy was due to start.

There were over 12,000 people in the half marathon, according to the corale numbers, Andy was in the 12,000-12999 corale and it took him about 17 minutes to reach the start line! We managed to spot him though for a quick photo on his way out.

We met up with my friend L and her son who had arrived from afar to take part in the one mile event. We had a mooch round, trip to the loos and checked out the Echo arena which was where the half marathon and marathon runners were due back in. At 10am the marathon runners were set off, then we headed to the start area after checking in our bags.

We had several minutes of being entertained at the start line, the compere got everyone waving their arms from side to side above their head and lo and behold Sam started doing it too! Just before we set off Sam was handed a foam mohawk as well which he enjoyed till we got going.

William paused to wait for Sam and I for a few seconds then was off and running. Sam decided to mostly walk the first half but managed a gentle jog for the return journey. We headed out of the dock, onto the main road and down to the Liver building where we turned and did a loop at the waterfront and back again.

William was waiting for us when we got back, having finished a full 6 minutes ahead and collected his medal. According to his running watch he managed his fastest mile so far, 9min 40secs! Sam and I got our medals and then we all headed back to the Echo arena to collect our bags and wait for Andy to come in.

We didn't have to wait for too long! He finished in 2.00.13 according to his garmin! Unfortunately there must have been a chip timing malfunction as his official chip time came back the same as the clock time. He received a tech t-shirt, goody bag and fab medal.

We didn't stay too long as Sam was getting a bit worked up with the crowds that were growing as the runners were coming back in. Andy is definitely considering doing this run again next year (if only because you get an extra medal for just coming back a second year!).

Shiny, shiny bling!

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Grasmere Gallop 2015

Should have blogged this one last week but haven't had a chance! 

This was our second time at the Grasmere Gallop, we ran the 5.7k fun run last year and got thoroughly soaked. But we still enjoyed the run, and having decided the weather couldn't be any worse for this year, we booked camping at Ambleside again and the fun run. Well, the rain held off this time, but someone turned up the wind. It was very hard to believe it was June, just look at that sky!

A very large contingent of Walney Wind Cheetahs attended this time. We had runners in the fun run, 10k run and the 17k run. Just before 11am we all met up at the muster point and were piped to the start line in the village. I was running with William and Andy was running with Sam. We all set off together, headed for Red Bank. William did a brilliant job of getting up the hill and I was pleasantly suprised to find that the wind had died down quite a bit on the route. 

When we were partway up Red Bank, we dropped off on a trail down to the lake shore and had a quick drink at the water station. Then we carried on along the path till we reached the road again then it was pretty much all downhill from there. 

William was flying down and unfortunately had a fall, grazing his knee and hurting his elbow and hands. After a few minutes of crying and limping, he managed to regain his running feet and carried on down the hill, through part of the village and onto a path which led to the finishing field where he managed a sprint finish just ahead of me. 

As last year, we got a nice chunky medal and a traybake! William finished in 48 minutes which was 7 minutes off his time from last year, even with his fall. 

We headed back out to the finish and waited for the others to come in. Sam and Andy came back in about 59 minutes, which was slower than last year, but sometimes that's the way it goes with Sam! 

Unfortunately it was too windy and cold to enjoy the group picnic we'd had planned so we headed back to our campsite and spent a bit of time by Lake Windemere. 

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Crazy Cow 10k and Crazy Calf Fun Run

On Sunday we were lured out to the Preston area for Andy to take part in the Crazy Cow 10k in Penwortham. I say lured because it was the promise of an unusual reward that got him signed up. A cowbell! That's right, we made a 3 hour round trip so Andy could run for a cowbell. That's how bonkers dedicated we are. I was so jealous!! There happened to be a one mile fun run as well, the Crazy Calf, which the boys took part in so all was good.

The weather fairies were not doing their job on the last day of May though and it was cold and wet when we left the house and cold and wet when we arrived in Preston. Luckily, the children's registration had been set up in the cricket clubhouse so we stayed warm and dry for a bit!

When it was time for the children's race we headed out to the path where it would start from. Conveniently the rain had stopped a little while before. I was running with Sam and William ran on his own as I'd checked the route was safe when I registered them. Andy saw us off then headed back to the finish at the cricket club to wait for us to arrive. William positioned himself at the front of the start and Sam and I were a little further back. Soon we were off and it was a really nice little course on a tarmac path through the woods.

The run was well marshaled by mooing and cowbell ringing individuals. Sam and I eventually emerged onto a gravelly path near the finish where there were some HUGE puddles and he decided to jump through about three of them.

Soon we were at the finish and the boys each got a medal! Unfortunately William managed to fall over whilst running over to get his medal so was not a happy bunny for a little while, but he managed to run his fastest mile yet in 10.46 and came in 19th out of 50 participants. Sam was a bit slower due to quite a bit of walking this time and came in 38th place in 13.50. Fantastic effort from them both.

After the boys finished their run we got them changed out of their wet shoes and into wellies and said goodbye to Andy who wandered off to the start with our fellow Wind Cheetahs who were also taking part. We stayed near the finish whilst they set off. The boys amused themselves by throwing pebbles into the stream and generally faffing about. We found a spot on the other side of the stream in a field to watch the runners coming back in. Andy made it back in record time for him, 54.03 so was very pleased. And he received his cowbell too! Andy said it was a nice, flat run and that he would do it again (although it will be my turn for a cowbell next!).

We didn't stop long after seeing the other WWC through the finish line, it was just too cold! William took charge of Andy's cowbell and we were rather grateful when it fell on the floor of the car after about 15 minutes into the journey home!

Monday, 1 June 2015

Pearl Izumi Fun Run

Last Friday we were given a brilliant opportunity. The Pearl Izumi Cycling Tour event came to Barrow for the second year. It was a huge success last year, with the roads around the town centre blocked off and lots of spectators. This year, due to a gap in the afternoon's proceedings our run leaders worked their magic to fill that gap with a children's running event, to showcase our local running groups and also a disability run as well. We were very excited for the boys to take part, running as WWC Cubs in the primary age event. They were even given fabulous new WWC running shirts with 'Cubs' on!

We decided to bus it into town for the event due to road closures and possible parking panic, but the boys love taking the bus so it added to the excitement. We got dropped off just outside the course and went to wait for the group. The sun was out but there was a brisk wind about so it wasn't the warmest but everyone was in a fab mood and the children were very excited. After a lot of pics were taken it was time to watch the disability cycling set off, then the secondary school and disability runners. Those at secondary had to run two laps and the primary schoolers had to run one lap of the 1.2km course.

Once they had finished it was time for the primary school children to run. I lined up with Sam at the back whilst William chose to be on the front starting line! Sam held my hand for all of a few seconds before letting go and that was it then, he just kept on running. He wasn't the fastest but he was definitely taking the atmosphere (and the changes to the town centre) in. William stayed well ahead and didn't stop either.

On the approach to the finish I could hear the commentator welcoming William into the finish and Sam and I weren't far off ourselves! When we did reach the end, the commentator welcomed Sam as well and offered a high five, which Sam gladly gave him. Judging from his expression below I think he was a little amazed at the clock on the arch!

All in all, a very good afternoon. Really proud of both the boys and quite excited to have been able to run the course myself! And what a fabulous opportunity to give our community's young runners, an experience they won't forget!