So, that, as they say, is that.
I can’t believe that it’s over. I’ve been involved with Totum Sport since December, we’ve created a team and worked hard for the moment. The time has truly flown by, it’s not been as straight forward as I had planned, but I’m so happy with the end product.
Waking up for a race is something that doesn’t phase me, I’m a morning person, so unless I’ve not slept well, I’m bouncing around buzzing with excitement for the run.
Since I was travelling from Morpeth, it was an early start. However, the night before I made sure that everything was ready, I couldn’t afford to lose time or else it would set off a chain reaction resulting in me being very late. All that was left for me to do after I woke up, was go to the toilet, eat breakfast and put on my running shoes.
Emma, thankfully, took me to the Metro and just in time too! I arranged to meet my friend Sid (check out his photography page, it’s incredible!), as he entered too. We chatted, had a laugh and it was welcoming distraction. We later had Iain join us, sharing training weeks, how he was working early and taking a #TeamTotum selfie for good measure.
Sunderland was relatively quiet when we arrived but the toilets were not! I quickly headed to the gents and then to Totum’s tent to check in. It wasn’t until after the team photo that I realised that this may be the last time that I see everyone together like this, again. I’ve loved getting to know the gang, share stories, training and rolling on tennis balls – we’re already talking about a social meet up and completing a North East Tour de Parkrun in the future, so it’s not the end by no means of seeing folk!
During the building up, I caught up with Alice, Katie and Peter – who I might add had an incredible pair of shorts on – about what they are aiming for. I mentioned that I’m looking at a sub-50 time and agreed to help pace them both – no pressure, then!
After downing my sachet and getting a good warm up under my belt, I was ready. The delay did throw me off a little but once I got going, I was totally fine. The first mile was a breeze and a nice opening as I caught up with Katie and Peter at my old digs of the University of Sunderland.
This is where I had to concentrate, making sure that we all stayed together but not burn out. We sailed through the halfway stage, battling the hills and park, while at the same time, covering ourselves with the water at the stations – it was canny tough to break into, mind! But we were always smiling, even with Peter’s burping and KBC’s grunting!
With a fist bump and calls of encouragement, we turned the screw a little to wind up the race, as it stood, we’d be over 50 minutes. Just as we got over the Wear Bridge, I saw we had 30 seconds to get under the time, I looked back to Peter blow a little, so I yelled for a big effort from him and I did the same with Katie.
I asked “how much have you got left? Have you got a sixth gear?” We dug deep, we pushed, I pulled away, hoping that there would be a reaction and I got one. I finished followed by my mini team, I looked at the clock – WE DID IT! It wasn’t quite under 50 minutes, however, we were still inside of it. A course PB for KBC and a NEW 10k personal best for Peter. I was chuffed that I was able to help these two. They put in a real shift, they never complained and they gave everything.
All that was left to do was grab our bling, our goodie bag and head back to camp. We were smiling, reminiscing parts of the race and of course, munching on our snacks. Then I got told something, that I’ve never heard before – I’m polite runner.
During my track and field days, I always thanked the officials who gave up their time to help with the competition, even on a bad day, it’s a mark of respect and I’ve carried that with me to this day and will do until my last breath.
Every time I passed a volunteer along the Sunderland 10k course, I thanked them. Whenever I saw someone struggle, I gave them a quick pat on the back and gave some encouragement. When someone from the crowd cheered us on, I gave them a thumbs up and thanks – even when they said I look too happy running. It’s things like that, that make my run more enjoyable, they make the race at the end of the day.
When we got back to the tent, we caught up with other runners from the Half Marathon and 10k, everybody had set a personal best and this is were I felt a bit empty. I knew that a PB wouldn’t be on the cards, injuries always seem to come at the worst times and even though I’ve been involved with the team since December, I didn’t set one PB, not one – that’s set a fire in my belly. As much as I loved the race, I was hungry for more and I’ll be back for next year’s 10k.
A massive shout out to Alice, Katie, Anji and everyone involved with Totum Sport and the event. When I first heard about the chance to run for them, I never envisioned I’d get the nod. But since then, I’ve thrown everything I could to making it one to remember. We started as individuals and came together as a team, resulting a strong bond and permanent friendships.
I can quite honestly say that those blue sachets have been simply, magic. Reduced headaches, slicker runs and speedy recoveries have shaped up my training block wonderfully – minus the niggle – and of course, avoid illness. If there are any runners who feel that they want a kickstart before a session or need that little kickstart to recoveries, I implore you to check out Totum Sport.
Next up, the Blaydon Races…