You know when you’re getting ready to race at a big event? There are crowds everywhere cheering on those taking part and giving them the boost they need to succeed. I love that feeling and always appreciate the support given to everyone by everyone. Well, instead of being right there in the action, I was playing a supporting role this weekend.
It started with the ever-so busy but successful Cardiff Parkrun at 9am on Saturday morning. It was pretty chilly but there were still around 550 people there. I met up with my little sis and my friend Nic who were ready and raring to go and take on the cold to get a new PB. I’ve put my PB determination aside for a short while to help them reach theirs. They’re really chuffed every week when they go that little bit faster and it makes me feel very proud! We did a good pace and overtook various runners to settle into a good conversational pace. My sis even managed to join in the chat without sounding too breathless which is great! They managed to get a new PB and were pretty proud of it. They’ll be speeding along with everyone else before you know it… and probably getting pretty competitive in the meantime! Sometimes it’s quite nice to be competitive with yourself but other times, it’s pretty awesome to put your personal goals aside and support your friends and family in theirs.
And my supportive role continued on Sunday when I went along to Bath to support the running club guys in the half marathon there. I was feeling pretty blue about not being able to take part in the race itself but being with the guys made me realise that my role was going to be an important one that day. They were pretty nervous but excited and 2 of them had never run a half marathon before so were terrified. They all looked the part and definitely brought the enthusiasm to the table.
I joined the rest of the crowd as the klaxon went and the runners kicked off. I did spend a good amount of time trying not to get hit in the face with plastic blow up clapper things that two little girls insisted of waving around, almost knocking out a few passing runners. It was strange being on the opposite side of the fence. When my guys had passed and I managed to grab a good action shot, I wandered off around Bath for an hour or so to try and keep my feet from freezing over. It’s a really beautiful city with plenty to see so I wasn’t too bored. I decided, on my way back, to continue playing my supportive role and grab the guys some chocolate for when they finished the race. There’s nothing better than a sugar hit after running your legs off.
I managed to find a good spot to try and watch my guys finish their race. It was incredible being on the other side of the lines, watching families and friends find their loved ones and cheer insanely for them. I then found myself doing exactly the same thing as the Maindy lot made their way to finish. I was cheering like mad, though through the crowds they didn’t manage to cotton on that I was shouting for them.
Battling through the various crowds, I managed to eventually get back to the runners’ village where the guys were so happy and buzzing with excitement. The chocolate didn’t last two minutes. They were all proudly wearing their tshirts and medals and their enthusiasm was catching. The decision to head for a pub was 100% supported by all 6 runners. We crashed there for a few hours before getting the train home. Although I was there supporting me, they pretty much inspired me to sign up to another half marathon… Which I didn’t hesitate to do when I got home. Swansea in June, here I come.
This weekend was a bit of a learning curve. Running in a race, achieving your goals and getting to the end without passing out or breaking anything, is amazing. Being there to watch your friends do it, is also pretty awesome. There’s an overwhelming sense of pride when it happens, especially when you’ve been there with them on the running journey.
Having supporters at these big racing events is so important. Can you imagine rocking up to a 5k, 10k, half marathon or marathon with no support whatsoever? I don’t know how I’d reach the end. Support is so important and even though I wanted to be on the other side, part of the action and complaining about my achy legs, it was someone else’s turn instead of mine.
However, I’m now determined that I will do my event in June, with the aid of my focus and my cracking playlist. I can’t wait to start ramping up the mileage a bit more. Currently embracing the 6 milers and happy with that at the moment. Give me 3 months… I’ll be at the start line, nervous and excited and ready to take on the next challenge…and waving to a few supporters along the route as I go.