walking as part of a team first published 14 July 2013

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My original blog was just over a year old in mid July 2013. The first ever post was about a Race For Life 10k. Back then I’d done precisely zero training, I was gaining weight at an alarming rate and making every excuse under the sun not to do any exercise. The plot had been well and truly lost and I’d wandered so far off the path it was a wonder I ever found my way back. What a difference a year makes! A year later I was at the start line of another Race For Life 10k, this time it wasn’t raining, it was hot and sunny, some would say a little too hot or at least too humid. This time I’d rather over trained for a mere 10k and, apart from the weather aspect, it was hardly a challenge. Now I was walking as part of a team.

14 July 2013

As with most things that happen to me it all came about by chance. All my Moonwalk training had got Alice interested in walking for weight loss. She happened to mention she would quite like to do something like the Moonwalk but something a little less full on and in your face than a marathon or half marathon and she thought the Race For Life might be good. In my time I’ve done a few Race For Life walks and I get regular email updates about up and coming events. As chance would have it I got one that evening.

The next morning I told her all about it and, before I knew it, I was offering to walk with her, just as a bit of moral support. Then things kind of snowballed. Within minutes we had an office team, we’d entered on line and the ball was well and truly rolling. Of course with all my talk of walks of twenty odd miles they decided the 5k was a bit lame and we’d signed up for the 10k, the exact race I did last year. Even Arabella joined in!

Alice organised everything and I took a back seat, at least I tried to. The thing is everyone saw me as the walking expert and wanted my advice about training, trainers and goodness knows what else. None of us could have possibly envisaged the weather though and Friday saw me stressing the importance of hydration to them all, not something I thought we’d have to be all that worried about on a normal damp, chilly English summer’s morning.

So this morning we all set off rather earlier than anyone would have liked for a Sunday morning. Gail and Gigi met at my house and Commando drove us over to the common where we met up with Arabella, Sue, Rose, Grace and, of course, Alice. I was pleased to see everyone had their water bottles. Gigi actually had one of mine because hers had developed a leak on her run down the hill. Commando was the official photographer and Gigi lined us all up at the start in typical Marketing Manager fashion, making sure the shorties (me, her, Grace, Rose and Arabella) were at the front.

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Rose and Gigi had decided to run it. Both of them have done a bit of running before although neither had done as much in the way of training as they probably should have. They set off in the first group and left us mere walkers waiting in the long, straggly line in the sun. The standing around was the hardest part, especially in the baking heat.

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Eventually, we were off, albeit very slowly shuffling forward in the tightly packed crowd. Knowing how difficult it is to move at any speed in this event, especially at the beginning before the crowds thin out,  I’d already decided to stick with the group and not keep to my normal power walking pace. It was actually quite hard to walk slowly, although I’m not sure anyone else realised we were walking slowly to be honest, but then I am a mad power walking woman normally. It was also quite novel to be walking in a group. Usually I walk alone.

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We were at about mile four when Gigi texted to say she and Rose had just crossed the finish line. They did it in one hour seven minutes which is pretty good considering the lack of training. Sadly, Commando missed them crossing the line so there is no victorious over the line photo for them. The chatting made those last two miles fly by and, in what seemed like no time at all, we were crossing the finish line, this time with Commando snapping away on his phone.

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Actually, when I say the rest of us I don’t include Arabella and Sue who had fallen back and were walking at a more sedate pace. We all waited around drinking much needed water and eating the snacks from our race finishers packs until they appeared, looking a little hot but otherwise unscathed.

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When we found them, Gigi and Rose looked pretty hot and tired. I’m fairly sure there are going to be some killer DOMS tomorrow for those two but kudos to them for running it all, especially in the heat. Finally, there was another group photo of everyone looking very proud and showing off their medals. The whole team should be really proud of themselves. Six miles may not be a long walk for me but it’s no mean feat for normal, non mad, women, even without the humidity to contend with. More importantly, it’s raising money for cancer research which is a very worthwhile cause.

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I’m pretty sure everyone was glad of their water. I know I was glad of mine. Just after the half way mark there was a water station and some kind volunteers refilled out bottles for us. Even then, I’d finished my second Camelbak bottle by the end and grabbed the bottle they handed out at the finish line gratefully. Two litres of water of six miles shows just how humid it was.

The extra early start, the walk, the heat and humidity took their toll and I fell asleep on the lounger on the decking this afternoon. There had been plans to make some nice chicken kebabs for dinner, maybe get a bit of gardening done, blah, blah, blah. None of that happened and when Philo and Sirona turned up, freshly back from their belated honeymoon, they found me snoozing in the shade. They both looked brown and happy, just as you should after a honeymoon touring Italy and Cyprus and it was good to hear about all their adventures. Time to think about booking our own holiday I think.

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Marie

Writer, walker, coffee drinker, chocolate eater, lover of nature, history and the little things that make me smile

2 thoughts on “walking as part of a team first published 14 July 2013”

    1. Marshalling is a tough job. I did a little for a Parkrun recently and I’d rather have been walking than standing about. I have a monthly donation to Cancer a Research UK. I think I need to do another Race For Life this year as I didn’t do it last year because I was working.

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