Or maybe it was more like The Long Walk – a novel by Stephen King in which race participants get ‘taken out’ (for not keeping pace) until only one survives.
There’s also a chance I may
be exaggerating ever so slightly have misinterpreted things.
But I’m sure you’ll forgive me for experiencing a moment of
panic that there would be weapons involved slight concern about today’s 10km event upon agreeing to the following ‘WARNING, RELEASE AND INDEMNITY’ (all caps = Very. Serious. Business.):
That’s right: significant risk blah, blah…of death from blah blah…’accidents’ with other participants, spectators or road users!
No worries, race organisers: here’s some money – where do I sign?!
In reality there was not a whiff of danger in sight. I don’t mean to sound disappointed (honestly), and in fact am quite relieved. Dodging runners who did the whole ‘sudden-stop’ thing certainly kept me on my toes, so to not have the added pressure of also dodging arrows or bullets was a blessing, really .
Now…onto the actual telling-you-about-the-run stuff!
The Launceston 10 is a 10km road race, and this year’s event had around 1600 entrants. Apparently it’s a bit of a big deal, and attracts top athletes from around the country. The men’s division winner – in 29:09 – was Olympian Ben St Lawrence, who is also known to some of us as a ‘provider of great tips and advice’ in the 12WBT running forums.
It was a flat course – out and back along the highway, with bagpipes at the halfway point. Yes, you did just read that. And no, I didn’t stop for a bit of Highland Flinging (tempting as it was).
It was cold (I guess it is winter after-all), and the home 5km-stretch provided a lovely, challenging head wind, but all-in-all it was pretty great.
Runners are an awesome bunch, aren’t they? Even though I arrived alone, I quickly met up with three lovely ladies I met through the 12WBT program and instantly felt welcomed and included.
(Big thanks to ‘M’ and her pre-run training / stretching tips. I think they made all the difference.)
During the run there were also numerous people chatting, laughing, and generally having a grand old time.
So how did I go? I managed to run the whole way (woo hoo!) and beat my 5km PB time in the process (*almost* under 30 minutes, so am getting closer on that front).
My legs held up, my lungs didn’t burst, and I averaged 6:24 min/km which isn’t too shabby for a first 10km attempt.
In short: I survived
The Hunger Games!
Having a bunch of supportive, encouraging people in your corner certainly goes a long way (thank you!). Congrats also to those who took part – now go and rest up!
So I guess this also means that I need to find a new goal. I hear there’s another 10km coming up in September, so that might be worth a look.
This ‘running thing’ might end up being just as addictive as the ‘buying running gear thing’.
Which can only be a good thing, right?