Today I took part in the annual Sutton Coldfield street carnival otherwise known as the Great Midlands Fun Run. As per usual the sun was shining, if anything it was a little bit too warm, again.
I’ll take the weather on Wednesday please.
As I am Little Miss Unfit at the moment I decided that I would walk the (numerous) hills and run the downhill sections. I decided that for once I would enjoy the event, the aim of the game today was to have fun.
After a few last minute toilet stops (I seem to suffer with a nervous stomach before races) I headed down to the train station. I love how friendly and supportive the vast majority of runners are. I overheard a young boy asking his mum if having a low race number (my number was 26) meant that I was a good runner like Mo Farah. Erm no!
I eventually reached the start area (with 7000 runners this was quite a challenge) and by chance bumped into a couple of friends from the tennis club. I think my lack of running friends is one of my regrets. It would be brilliant to have friends to chat to while waiting around at the start of races. After what felt like a long and warm wait (by this time the sun had made an appearance) we started to shuffle towards the start.
At 11:15ish we headed up the hill away from Sutton town centre, my fun run experience had finally started. What can I remember about the run? It was hot, I am unfit and I was struggling by the time we reached the park at Boldmere Gate. I won’t dwell on the negatives today. The support around the course was amazing, it was like Sutton Coldfield’s own version of the London Marathon. There were families having picnics in the park, families spraying us with hoses. There were firemen at the drinks stations (OK not such a bonus for me!) but they did a great job of hosing us down. There were ice cream vans (I *might* have stopped for an ice cream).
I just love the carnival atmosphere. It’s like for one day a year the people of Sutton Coldfield unite in support of this amazing event.
As I wasn’t aiming for a fast time I took a few photographs en route. So much for a comprehensive race report!
Last year I completed the run in 01:25:15. I think that today I easily took another 15 minutes to complete the run. My calf muscles felt really tight on the final few downhill sections so I slowed down. I didn’t want a repeat of last year when I came away from the fun run with an injury. Fingers crossed I’ve avoided injury this time.
I walked to the train station only to discover that I’d missed a train by 4 minutes so had a 26 minute wait for the one. Bad timing Emma! Actually I had a great wait at the train station where I got chatting to someone who had run every single Sutton Fun Run and Great Midlands Fun Run. Why aren’t people this friendly in Sutton all of the time? It will remain a mystery!
I eventually got home at 2ish, had a cool drink and then went for a lie down. I woke up 3 hours later still wearing my stinky running kit. Gross!
So some positives:
1. the weather… the fact that the sun was shining meant that the crowds/support was better than ever.
2. my new trainers… no new niggles, just a tiny blister which I can live with.
3. Someone from the running club won in some ridiculously fast time.
4. the medal is ace (I love big bling)
5. I have *touches wood* hopefully not got any new injuries.
6. I avoided getting sun burnt this year
7. I love my Workplay Fleetfoot II running waist belt. It was so comfortable I forgot that I was wearing it and had a panic at the 6-mile mark when I thought that it had fallen off.
The only negative was my complete lack of fitness. It looks like I’ll be starting from scratch with my running, again!
See you next year Great Midlands Fun Run!