I take part in my local Race for Life 5K every year because it’s a fun, easy run for charity, 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.
However, this year I booked a trip away to Sardinia, Italy, without realising that it clashed with the Tunbridge Wells Race for Life in June. I was gutted, as I’ve taken part in it for as long as I can remember! The alternative was the Maidstone Mote Park location, which isn’t exactly convenient as it’s a 30minutes or so drive away, but it’s better than nothing! It cost just £14.99 each to participate, so I didn’t hesitate to sign mum and I up together.
So on Saturday 6th July we drove and parked on a residential road just outside of Mote Park, and walked to the event village inside. We had 20minutes to spare before the 11am start, so took some photos and enjoyed a fun exercise warm-up. 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, black USA Pro lycra shorts, pink Primark shorts, Apple AirPods, and black trainer socks with Nike Free Run trainers. The weather was super hot, around 24C, so the outfit was perfect.
I’d consumed a cup of Beanies coffee, Nature Valley Peanut Nut Bar, and Torq energy gel in Rhubarb & Custard – as I hadn’t factored in enough time to make porridge or buy a banana! I felt a little dehydrated but was ready and raring to go.
As always, there were different waves/start times for Runners, Joggers and Walkers. Mum walked and jogged alone at her own pace as one of the Joggers – I set off at the front of the Runner’s wave and was one of the first adults through the Finish Line. It was boiling, extremely hilly and hard work, but I actually really enjoyed the run and managed a sprint finish! The atmosphere was lovely, there were crowds of enthusiastic spectators around the finish/start lines, the signage was obvious and the marshals were encouraging.
The MC shouted out my name as I crossed the line and then stopped me for a quick chat, which was nice. I was handed a bespoke event medal and bottle of water by some friendly volunteers, and then found my sisters who had come to cheerlead. We watched out for mum and as soon as I saw her in the distance, I ran back along the course to greet her, and ran with her the rest of the way to the finish line. Mum loved the run and did so well!
My sisters enjoyed themselves, too. We all had an ice-cream from the Mr Whippy van and then took a slow walk back out of the park in the sun, towards the car. Overall it was a really lovely morning, and if I miss the Tunbridge Wells Race for Life event in future, I’ll definitely return to the Mote Park location. 😊
NEXT UP: Peak District Challenge 100K/62.2 miles Ultra-Marathon, 13th-14th July 2019