As I sprinted to the finish line – and I mean sprinted – well, it WAS downhill, my head was full of memorable images I'd seen alolng the way.
The Leeds 10k isn't any ordinary race. It's a celebration of the life of Jane Tomlinson, who thumbed a nose to cancer and fought it and fought it and fought it until it beat her body. But it was only her body that died last September. Her spirit and determination and fight have lived on.
More than 11,000 runners converged on the city centre in Jane's Run For All. Her son Steven started us on our way, and widower Mike welcomed us back. Her daughter was among the runners.
I am pretty new to running, I'm also a late starter – in more ways than one.So an event such as this was an overwhelming experience. My memories included:
– Kissing Noel goodbye as he went off to start with the faster runners
– Taking ten minutes to walk to the start
– Noise, noise and more noise
– A Mexican wave by 11,000 people
– Stewards applauding as I passed
– People I didn't even know cheering me on
– Sticky Gatorade at the half-way stage, sipped and thrown to the ground
– Meanwood Road residents coming out to watch. One little girl eating her CocoPops on the pavement
– Cheering the really good runners as the passed on the way back
– Running through the city past the shops
– Hearing the roar of the crowd on approaching the Headrow
– Sprinting to the finish and being greeted with a kiss from Noel – who'd been back long enough to pick up his goodie bag
– Getting my tee shirt and vowing never to take it off ever again. Even if they didn't have my size left!
What a great day. I did it in about 69 minutes, and Noel in about 57. Not our fastest, but it wasn't about speed! And I was nowhere near the last – about 4,500th. Noel was about 1,900th.
Looking forward to the next one!
Today's lovely thing
The best trifle I've ever tasted. Yum.