Monday, 10 June 2013

Grasmere Gallop Fun Run 2013

I foolishly said on Twitter a couple of months ago that I was looking for some more running challenges. It was suggested I try the Grasmere Gallop Fun Run at 5.7 km as an introduction to trail running. Once I'd signed up other people told me that the Fun bit of the race title didn't really exist... oh well too late to back out once I'd paid my entry fee...

The day came this Saturday when it was time to head up into the Lake District proper to register for the race. It was an absolutely glorious hot sunny day which was not ideal but it looked wonderful:

After signing in I discovered quite a few friends were also doing various lengths of race though as they were all a lot fitter than me they were doing either the 10k or 17k events.  There was also a Nordic walk of 10k which attracted plenty of entrants. We all mustered together and were then piped to the official start line in the village:

It was an amazing experience lining up with over 500 other people for the big start. Then the hooter went and we all set off along the road out of the village. The first part was quite pleasant as it was fairly level then we climbed up towards Loughrigg and I was amongst those who chose speed walking instead of running! 

My race then was diverted down on to a path whilst the longer races carried on upwards. It was quite tricky running down the footpath over stones and roots but very much more pleasant under the trees. Our course took us back along the lake side and due to the heat I was alternating running and fast walking as I decided it was better to finish than collapse! We had a very steep path back up to the road and then a lovely descent back to the village.

Plenty of walkers and cyclists cheered us on which inspired me to try and run as much as possible even when it felt too hot. At one point I caught up with a student from my school and helped him pace himself as he was sprinting too fast then walking slow. Together we ran through the village and back to the sports field. At this point the first of the 10 k runners over took us on his way to take first place (so pleased it was a dad from my children's school!). It seemed a long way round to get to the finish but I managed to sprint down the last bit (seemed to impress my children!).

It was a nice feeling to cross the line and be awarded a medal and a tray bake plus squash:

When we saw the official results I was the 35th overall out of 56 and the 12th adult female out of 22 so I am pretty pleased with myself. My pace was about 11 minutes 39 seconds per mile which wasn't bad considering the heat. My daughter says she will beat me next year so we are up for a big challenge! At least I now have a target to beat:

Roll on the 5 k next weekend at the Race for Life in Preston!

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