My running friend and I decided to challenge ourselves and sign up for our first 5K run. We picked a route that we had part run before and was at least familiar with the area, the beautiful National Trust property Nostell Priory. National Trust are running a series of night runs and they sounded fun, so we signed up.
The furthest we had run before was 6km, but that was with some walking so we thought this would be a good challenge, Nostell also has a few inclines and muddy patches. We checked the site before we left and noticed it said 6km. Too late now so we headed off to the beautiful grounds
We were in the first 100 to sign up so we were given a festive Santa hat. This caused for the obligatory pre run selfie and festive photo.
We waited for night to fall near to the start line, watching all the other runners warm up. Sending positive thoughts that we were about to run the furthest we have ever run, when the announcer said 'nearly 7km race', I turned and looked and my friend and she at me, oh pants!
We made our way very nervously to the start line, and headed towards the back. 7km was a real challenge and we felt staying towards the back with our slow pace the better option.
Before we knew it we were off. The first night run at Nostell Priory.
It was a real challenge. The dark added a whole new dimension. Unable to see the muddy puddles and shinning a torch in the dark looking for a glowing vest of a marshal or even the reflective glow stick of the route marker was exciting. We ran through woods, fields and round the lake. The course had some steep inclines and some great descents too. There was plenty of mud, and some very slippy patches. The added sense of running in a group and the support from the Marshals seemed to spur me on.
I ran through a bad stitch in my side, through the pain barrier and pushed myself through those inclines. The first lap I completed and was so proud of myself, I thought to myself anything else is a bonus. I made it past the house, round the lake and up the field. I was feeling tired and in pain but at the same time I had a stride going, it wasn't fast but I was moving and not walking. I even overtook a few people. I kept going down the hill and back up towards the house. Before I knew it I was on the final descent to the finish line, I could see it and I had this sudden burst of energy, I think it was the promise of a free mince pie. My legs went for it, sprinting towards the end and then I did it. I ran it, and I was so proud.
I might not have been the fastest but I did not come last. I ran my first race and completed it. I was awarded a glow in the dark medal, which is pretty cool and of course a free mince pie. J had run with me and he even got a medal too!
The total times were
4.08miles/6.57km average 12.06miles/min in 49.03minutes
Not the fastest runner out there by a long way but it is the furthest I have ever run and I am proud of my own achievement.
This day I love a night run