It doesn’t even seem that long ago that I was posting about the last challenge (doesn’t time fly when you’re adding blisters to your blisters). The third challenge is well and truly completed, which I have to say was the toughest of all three so far – bizarre considering that the last challenge was 3.1 miles longer, and was 2 weeks after regaining the ability to walk.
The Chester 10 miler has been used as a substitute for the military 10km I had originally planned to do – not something I wanted to do, but under instruction from my physio I didn’t want to push the limits of my ankle ligaments too far. So the Chester 10 miler…what can I say about such an event. Vicky as official photographer begrudgingly came with me. I say begrudgingly as not only did we need to leave at 07:30 on a Sunday morning, but this particular Sunday morning was when we lost an hour in bed. Ouch. Soz Howelly!
Usual routine took place (I say usual, but same as what I’ve been used to in the other 2 races I’ve ever been in). Headed to race HQ & picked up my running chip. This was when I discovered that there were only 10 people registered to do the 10 mile race (it was technically called the Chester 20 / 10, so luckily there were a few more people doing the 20 mile route. Oh wait, sorry about that, in fact, there were less than 50 people in total involved in this little Sunday morning excitement.
Count down from 10, and we were off. I’d updated my playlist on the Saturday night, so quite happy with the new tunes (think I might post a top 10 running tunes from my playlists at some point – trust me when I say NO-ONE will be buying it from iTunes as it’s the most eclectic mix you’ve seen in a long time). The race itself took us 5 miles down a cycle path in Chester, quick turn about, then back. Seemed like quite a nice one to do after the pain of Blackpool’s spaghetti junction route up & down the promenade. Until about mile eight I was pretty steady and really enjoyed the run.
There are a few things though, that didn’t please me quite as much.
Working with major blue chip organisations helping them create a better customer experience, one of the first things I approach is the human element to service; how people interact with their customers, and one of the simplest things, do they actually smile at their customers? Well I wish some of the runners today would have attended any one of my workshops or training sessions. Just because you’re a professional athlete, doesn’t mean you can’t offer a simple smile to a fellow runner. Even the guy in the Help for Heroes running vest (FYI seriously need to get me one of those – much better than the t-shirt for running) gave me a disinterested look, like “oh sorry about you being on mile 4, while I’m on mile 6”. Wow, sorry about all of you that you can’t see the bigger picture.
OK, rant over. So I reach mile 8 and the pain kicks in. Bearing in mind that there were only 7 people taking part, when I hit mile 8 there was no-one in sight apart from the marshals (there were people behind me, before you start thinking I was that bad). I was about to start walking, but then Black Eyed Peas “I gotta feeling” came on my iPod and that was it, I was off.
I’m so glad that I’d re-jigged my playlist, as running on what seemed my own for most of the race was really difficult. Finding the motivation & determination to keep going was much harder than I thought. A mixture of the BEP and knowing that Nick would be out for days on end with blisters the size of mainland Europe on his feet was all I needed to spur me on – not to mention that the Taliban would also be firing at him.
I eventually pulled into the last few hundred yards. The pace picked up and my face cheered up. Having someone at the end to cheer you in is priceless (not even MasterCard could beat it). I was however, slightly perturbed when the race organiser said “you’ll definitely need some Savlon tomorrow”. My first thoughts were that he was clearly some crazy person, but then when I looked down, it all became clear. All I’m going to say is two words; bleeding & nipples. Yes, I was equally as disgusted.
I now have a much better understanding of the notion of blood, sweat & tears.
So to anyone reading this, and to all those I know that aren’t – if I can go through the agony of bleeding body parts & blisters the size of mainland Britain, then I’m sure you can dig into those pockets and find a few pennies to help out me and help out an amazing organisation like H4H. I’m going to be in touch with all and sundry soon enough, so please save that loose change. It’s going to make such a big difference – especially as it’s really starting to kick in just how much money £10,000 really is.
Oh hell to it, it’s a small price to pay.
Help for Heroes [21:21] Challenge