I entered my result for this race as soon as I’d done a 5K in October. By the time you read this post I’ll be away on holiday and I wanted to make sure I’d entered my 5K time well before going on holiday because otherwise I’d forget for sure!
So I completed this 5K on 7th October at parkrun. I’d really wanted a 5K PB but sadly it wasn’t to be as the wind was ferocious. That’s the thing about having a seafront parkrun, it can be so windy. As it was parkruns 13th Birthday my local parkrun had put on a pacing event so people could try for a PB but even the pacers struggled to make it in on time due to the wind. So a sub 45 minute parkrun still eludes me but I’ll keep trying. Or maybe I’ll have managed it by the time you read this! We’ll see!
So with a time of 45:36 I earned the 5K Halloween Medal from Virtual Runner UK. This medal was a surprise as, for some reason, I didn’t realise it opens up! It’s another really cool medal.
It’s such a great medal, I love that it opens and says Trick or Treat. What a neat idea. The medals from Virtual Runner just get better and better.
This is actually a medal I earnt in September, I just realised I hadn’t posted about it yet! Oops!
The Golden Ticket medal could be earned by completing a 5k during the month of September. I didn’t complete a 5K specifically for this one, instead I decided I’d do 5K’s throughout September and pick my best time. I perhaps did this a tad early as if I’d hung on until 30th September I’d have had a better time but that’s another story.
So the end of September was approaching and my best 5K time was the Bayside Summer Series 5K I did so I entered that time. It’s kind of like I got two medals for the same run but considering the weather it was worth getting two medals for that run!!
If you missed my post on the Bayside Summer 5K it’s HERE
Now this medal is something else, check out these pictures! I love it.
Isn’t it fab how it opens up to reveal the golden ticket! Willy Wonka would be proud!
On 12th September I ran my first race in 3 years. This should have been my graduation from the Gosport Road Runners beginners group but due to injuring my Achilles I never completed it. However, because it was better, and because my lovely friend Eileen offered me her place, I decided to run. I was running the Absolute Running Summer Series 5K. This was the fifth and last race in the series.
Thank you Eileen for the photo
Before I begin, let me tell you about Eileen who gifted me her place. You might have seen her featured on parkrun’s page. Eileen is in her 70’s and such an inspiration. In the 1980’s Eileen was a cross country champion and has a sub 3 hour marathon PB! I can not imagine our parkrun family without Eileen in it. She’s an absolute hoot and as cheeky as they come. Thank you Eileen for the place. Here she is finishing her first parkrun. Read Eileen’s story on the parkrun website here
I really wanted to do well in the race and use this as a bench mark for future 5k races. I took my nutrition on the day really seriously, looking up suggestions of what to eat and drink during the day before the race. I also kept a close eye on the weather reports. It was saying there would be rain and high winds. The day time was actually quite nice but as the afternoon progressed in to evening the sky turned dark and as I looked out of the window, the trees in my garden were swaying frantically in the wind.
I got down to Stokes Bay early and was a bag of nerves! I met up with Kieran and we went and collected my number which I then pinned on my top, and then re-pinned it when Kieran told it was neither straight nor central! We then headed out to the start rather leisurely, thinking we still had plenty of time. However we’d both read the wrong start time and had to rush! As a result this meant my Garmin wasn’t ready! I hadn’t had enough time to find satellites before beginning so had to start it a little way in to the race. In a way though this sudden rush at the beginning meant I forgot all about my nerves.
For the first portion of the race I chose to run for as long as I could but tried to hold back a little to allow me to run for longer. This worked quite well but I was soon breathless. At the minute I’m finding my breathing difficult. I usually stop running, not because my legs want to, but because I can not catch my breath. The wind, which was now around 25mph, was taking my breath away.
A special mention for this race has to go to the marshals. I knew pretty much all of them and what a difference it makes having marshals shout personal encouragement to you. They were so cheery even in the awful weather conditions.
The race heads along the sea front at Stokes Bay and then does a loop around the GAFIRS (Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue) building twice. GAFIRS were having a training exercise where they “rescued” six people involved in a pretend boating accident. I saw the team put through their paces and the coastguard circling overhead bringing in their casualties. Here they are hard at work. If you want to read more about their training exercise it can be found here
Soon I’d completed my two laps running for 30 seconds and walking for one minute. As I came off the second loop I saw the 4km marker. It was starting to get dark at this point and then the rain started. It was coming in sideways due to the high winds and my left side was soon soaked right through. The rain felt like small pellets hitting me in the face. After seeing the 4km marker I decided to try and run as much as possible mainly to get out of the wind and rain! I could see the lights of the race HQ in the distance and kept my eyes on them the whole time, apart from when the rain was that bad I couldn’t actually open my eyes!
I finished the race in 45:53 beating my parkrun PB by over a minute. I was so pleased. It wasn’t until I got home and uploaded the result that I realised I’d also beaten my 5K PB from 2012 when I was running regularly! I was so surprised and really pleased. Now I want to keep chipping away at my time through parkruns and my new running plan. Fingers crossed!
Thanks to Ben from Friendly Photography for the photo!
If you want to read Kieran’s race report, it can be found here
The Gosport Golden Mile is a much anticipated local race. It is organised by Nick Carter who owns Absolute Running and a true legend in the running community. He also organises 545 club (every Wednesday), Breakfast Club (every Sunday) and the Bayside 5K Summer Series as well as the Golden Mile!
Sunday morning started bright and early. The weather was absolutely glorious. I smothered myself in sun cream and donned my hat as I knew we were going to be there all morning.
Upon arrival my Mum and I (Yes I dragged my Mum along but she actually enjoyed it!) went and grabbed a coffee in the Bayside Cabin. It was like lava though and as a result we missed the wheelchair race! Ooops!
We headed over to the start/finish line of the Golden Mile ready for the kids race where I quickly caught up with Maggie.
We were waiting for her son to complete the mile. He’s been doing really well in our new junior parkrun and this was a fraction shorter so we knew he’d do well. We were also looking out for the young man who keeps being first past the line at junior parkrun. We knew he’d do well too. However the biggest surprise of all was as we were clapping in the winner and second place, we noticed who was in third place, Kieran was storming his way to the finish line. I went mad cheering him on. I literally couldn’t believe it! As he made his way round to us with his medal I was so pleased for him and told him so. However, being the teenager he is, he was totally chill about it! He completed his mile in 05:42.2! If you want to read his account of the run click here.
340 children entered the Gosport Golden Mile! That’s an astounding amount of children, but it was watching this race last year that really confirmed we needed a junior parkrun in the area.
Next up was the Adult mile race. Jeez those guys were fast. It was won in 04:09.4! We cheered and hollered so many of our friends on from parkrun. It was a brilliant atmosphere. It was a hot day but so many people still managed to get PB’s.
Afterwards it was time for the final race, the 5K race. The pack seemed a little small, 140 people. Maybe this seemed small because I’m so used to looking at our huge parkruns! I’m sure the weather probably made some people DNS! Again we gave our support to everyone, but mostly the people we know from parkrun. It was nice to see them all as I’d missed parkrun the previous day due to work. Booo! We watched the last runner come in then headed over to watch the presentations.
The first three winners of each race were given a plaque and cash prize. I was pretty impressed, great medal and fantastic prizes for those who managed to achieve them! There were also bottles of wine for those who won their age categories. It’s the race that keeps on giving!
Image courtesy of Kieran
Thanks again Kieran
You know what I’m going to say now right?! Watching this race inspired me so much and now I’m eagerly awaiting the entries to open for the Gosport Golden Mile 2018 to open so I can enter. But the question is, which one? The mile? The 5k? Or Both?!
I’ve used Virtual Runner a few times in the past but then I let me fitness slip completely and didn’t bother anymore. Now as part of my 2017 goals to take charge of my health I decided to enter a couple again.
The All Aboard medal can be earned by walking or running 5K. I would be walking it but this is the longest I’ve walked in a while.
This morning I really didn’t want to go out. I’d woken up with a really bad headache but this medal had to be earned 2nd-8th January and since it’s back to work tomorrow I knew today was really my only chance so I made myself get up and out of the door.
I decided to walk the Lee on Solent parkrun course as it’s a sure cert to be a 5k route! I walked it and yes my back hurt, then my leg hurt, then my back hurt a bit more but by the time I got 3km in to the walk all the pain started to ease away and I was able to finish feeling pretty good.
Picture from our walk. It was lovely weather for a January day and there were loads of people out walking. I completed the 5K in 1:03:25 not particularly fast but I have a starting point now. I’ve submitted my result so any day now this medal should be on its way to me.