I’m writing this post 4 months after the event, so bear with me as I may ramble on and the post may seem disjointed as I remember things!
This was the 5th race in as many weeks I think and my god, did my legs know it. Especially as I did exactly the same as 2018 and went to Butlins the week before and therefore did no running! The morning of was difficult enough trying to get there, I had to work out tram times from Rochdale and then try and find the start line; it was all completely different from the year before and I was stressing out before I’d even started! Luckily, finding rams (which seems to be the best thing to do in these situations) and they quite literally herded me to the bag drop. I then lost those rams, found a sister and headed over to the town hall for the photo – it was the 5th photo they’d taken with varying members! Thanks goodness Rowan is patient!
Off to the start line and I was in the complete wrong area but sod it; I could see a pacer and I was staying where I was. Well, until I needed a last minute wee and had to dash to the port-a-loos. After a tense wait in a queue that didn’t seem to be going down (not a good sign), it was back to the start and find a different set of rams – third group so far! The start is a nightmare at this event, we also couldn’t hear any of the announcements so had no idea what was going on. About 15 minutes later, we were finally at the actual start line; ready and raring to go.
Slight downside to the whole race was that everything had changed from the previous years. The route was different, the bag drop and finish areas were different and of course; no bloody t-shirt!!
Anyway, the first 5 miles were fine, tough but I was feeling good. Then, the knee started hurting and I was dying to walk for just a little bit. Rams were dotted about here and there and I knew my absolute #1 rammy supporter was waiting around halfway so I just had to get there; I don’t think Lianne and Christine expected me to strip off in front of them but I did! Base layer had to come off as I was baking and I just flung it at them and carried on. Good job they know me! Carrying on, the knee was still hurting but normally by about 7 miles, it goes away so I didn’t have long to go. A couple of silly hills that floored me way more than they should and a bit of walking and I’d slown down considerably. No way I could get a PB but I was going to get round. A sweaty hug with an ex-colleague featured around mile 8 I think and I was still doing a mixture of walking and running. I could feel my time from the year before slipping away too now and with some massive effort; I pulled my socks up and plodded on.
I eventually rounded the last little bit and saw the finish line; I’m sure they move it further away as you’re trying to run towards it! No tyre man to beat this year so I just had to try and sprint to the finish. I got there eventually, looked up and nearly burst into tears with my time. I’d got it! 2:15! It was only 2 minutes off my pb time and a mahoosive 21 minutes off the time I did in 2018. I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to miss a PB target before. I am so proud of myself for this race and it’s also the last time (for now) that I’ll be running it. I was gutted that the route changed, there was no t-shirt and it didn’t seem as well organised this time but I beat my 2018 time and that’s literally all I wanted. You can see how happy I am in my medal photo!