When I planned my races at the beginning of the year, I pencilled in the Cartmel 10k for March. When I actually looked at the logistics of the day, I realised that it was miles away, would mean a stupidly early start, would cost me nearly thirty quid and I couldn’t find anywhere that guaranteed me that there would be bling. For the right bling, I will travel miles, pay out good money and set my alarm clock for whatever time is needed. For no bling, well that’s another story.
After a bit of research, I eschewed the promise of scenic surroundings doing the St Helens 10k (also, no bling) and opted for the Stroke Association’s 10k Resolution Run in Delamere Forest. I liked the sound of a nice run in the woods and as a special mother’s day treat, I took mum along to be my race day support.
Like many charity races, there was a jolly warm up of bouncing around and waving arms (I think it was more choreographed than that). Now, rarely do I warm up to motivational music and even if I did opt into the bouncing, I’m so uncoordinated that I would probably punch someone in the face (by accident, obviously). For everybody’s safety I opted out of the warm up and skulked at the edge.
The far biggest cheer of the morning went up when the race organiser announced that the route had been amended because one of the hills wasn’t safe to run. Yay!
After a bit of a puddle-dodging bottleneck at the start, we all found our space and set off for two laps of the lake. It was all very scenic and tree-lined, and I didn’t even seem to mind that it was snowing a bit. Obviously the forest was still open to other people and we were sharing our route with walkers, non-racing runners,cyclists, horse-riders and a couple on a tandem. Overhead ran the ropes and bridges of Go Ape, an activity that I fancy doing until I remember my fears of gaps and edges.
Being away from home and not being certain of the weather, I had hedged my bets by stuffing most of my kit in my bag before settling on long tights, my snug vest top, my thick long sleeved top and my gloves. Normally, my gloves are off by the first mile, but as I only regained the feeling in my fingers by mile four, they stayed on all the way to the end. My shiny new trainers are also now well and truly christened because of the mud and the puddles that were unavoidable throughout the route (I come from the “if you can’t go round it, you’ll have to go through it” school of thought).
Coming through the finish line there were two people handing out medals – I couldn’t get the attention of one of them and and when I approached the other, he announced gravely “I’ve run out…”. I dread to think what kind of dark expression passed across my face at that news. Luckily I spotted a woman delving into a box full of medals and went to help myself to bling (just one, I promise).
Reunited with mum (who was wonderfully easy to spot in her red anorak – it was like following Little Red Riding Hood through the woods, only she had a rucksack rather than a basket of goodies) we nipped into the cafe for some restorative cake and a sigh of relief that we didn’t end up being part of this event…
There are 18 Resolution Runs nationwide covering 5, 10 and 15k distances – the race fee includes a t-shirt (or for an extra £2.50, a tecnhical running vest) and all help to raise funds and awareness for the Stroke Association.