I take part in my local Race for Life 5K every year because it’s a fun, easy run for Cancer Research UK, and because historically it has a guaranteed great atmosphere with hoards of supporters.
The event caters for runners, joggers and walkers and encourages everyone of every age and ability to participate.
So on Sunday 3rd June I walked the 20minutes from my house to Dunorlan Park, Tunbridge Wells, where I met mum at the front gates. We had half an hour to spare before the 11am start, so had our faces painted for £4 each and enjoyed a fun exercise warm-up. A Rock Choir was providing entertainment and there was a First Aid tent, Information tent, hot food stand, two ice-cream vans and a merchandise tent, too.
I was wearing a pink USA Pro sports bra, pink Adidas vest, and black & pink Nike cropped running leggings with Nike FreeRun trainers. The weather was super hot, around 24C, so the outfit was perfect.
I set off at the front of the Runner’s wave and was one of the first adults through the Finish Line at 22minutes, although my phone and Fitbit both measured the course at 2.6miles instead of 3.1. The MC stopped me for a chat, asking for my name and how I’d describe the course – I said “sweaty!”. It was boiling and my face paint had started to run, but I actually really enjoyed it and managed a sprint finish, overtaking someone who I’d been behind for the whole event!
However, just like last year, the event had noticeably smaller amount of participants and supporters – it was the quietest I’ve ever seen it. Usually you can see crowds of people from across the park, but it was looking sparse this year and the atmosphere, much like last year, wasn’t as motivating. There were also no Heart FM Angels at the top of the monstrous hill towards the end of the route – usually they’d be there cheering and high-fiving participants! The drummers en route were fabulous though, and the Rock Choir re-appeared along the route which was lovely.
As usual, I only paid about £15 to enter this event and received a cute bespoke medal with a packaged brioche bun, Nivea body lotion sample and bottle of water at the Finish Line. Cancer Research volunteers were walking around selling fake flowers which many supporters purchased for participants crossing the finish line, which was sweet. The signage was obvious, the marshals were encouraging, and the Start and Finish Lines were well managed.
Mum walked and jogged alone at her own pace as one of the ‘Joggers’ and was really pleased with her 42mins time, which made me happy and it was all worthwhile to see her finish. We had an ice-cream and sat on a bench soaking up the sun for a while, which made for a really lovely morning. I’ll be back next year! 🙂
NEXT UP: Virgin Sport British 10K on Sunday 15th July