After doing my first parkrun I became hooked on the buzz you get from running and challenging yourself to beat times. Parkrun isn’t a race but like most people I like to try and improve my times each week, I’m not racing other people as I know I’ll never win, I just want to better myself.
I’ve done lots of races over the last 3 years, 5k’s, 10k’s, 5 miles, 10 miles, 3 half marathons and 2 marathons. I still can’t believe I’ve done the marathons but I have and I want to do more.
My first race was a local 10k organised by a local running club in Great Yarmouth. I’d heard it was a good course as it was flat (always sounds good, not a fan of hills) although it ran along the prom so if it was windy it can be a bit tough.
It was October 16th 2016 and I was very nervous when I arrived at the race headquarters to pick up my number, all these people! Proper runners, from proper running clubs! I felt a bit out of my league, like I shouldn’t be there, I wasn’t a proper runner! I picked my number up and filled out the back and attached it to my top, queued for the toilet then took my jacket back to the car. It wasn’t very warm but I can’t run properly in a jacket and I knew once I’d started I’d get too hot. I went back and queued for the toilet again then headed over to the start line.
The next problem was where to stand, I wasn’t a fast runner but I didn’t think I would come last so I nestled my way into middle as there was about 800 runners. I just hoped I wouldn’t go off too fast and burn myself out before the finish. Everyone was chatting and the noise was quite loud, I was feeling nervous, excited and alone as I didn’t know anyone.
Once I got running I was fine, I’d trained for this, it was just another run. It was windy which wasn’t good and a little rainy but I don’t mind that as I get really hot when I run and it keeps me cool. The course started on the road then went down to the promenade path, we ran along this path to one end of the seafront then back along a path that ran adjacent to the prom to the other end of the seafront then repeat and finish on the road where we started.
Whilst I was running there was a couple of people that I knew who were marshalling, they cheered me on when I passed them, which made me feel good and when I ran towards the finish line, my cousin and her son were there shouting my name. I didn’t know they were going to be there so that made my day, you don’t realise how much support on the day really helps.
I collected my first medal feeling really proud of myself at what I had achieved, I got a real buzz out of it.
I finished the race in 1 hour 50 seconds , I was really pleased with this time although that left a marker for the next 10k race. Under an hour was definitely doable!
Over the following year I did lots more races including two more 10k races but I didn’t manage to get under the hour, I was close but not close enough so one year later I entered this race again.
October 15th 2017 I took part in the East Coast 10k for the second time. I turned up as nervous as ever but I ran to my best ability and totally smashed it and finished the race in 57 minutes 59 seconds. Well under the hour, I was so happy to have finally done it. That’s the thing with runners like me, I’m not competing against other runners as I’m never going to win a race but I’m always putting the pressure on myself to beat a certain time.
More races and another year passes, I signed up for a third year to see what I can do again. I was definitely more experienced in races now as I’d done a half marathon, London marathon and The Great North Run. I still get really nervous though before any race, even parkrun and that’s not a race!
So again for the third time, I turn up at race hq in Great Yarmouth, October 14th 2018. The aim to beat last years time. I knew I could do it as I’d run 10k faster than that time but I wanted a course pb as the course was the same as the previous 2 years.
Did I do it? Yes I did. 55 minutes and 59 seconds (chip time) a course pb although not a 10k pb as I’d ran the London winter run 10k in 55 minutes 12 seconds. That was ok though as you can’t compare different courses. The next challenge was sub 55 minutes. Always a new time to beat!
I’ve signed up for a fourth year to run the East Coast 10k, October 13th 2019. They’ve changed the course but hopefully it’s still a flat course, a pb course. I have already managed a sub 55 minute this year on another race but the aim still is to finish sub 55 in this race.