So my Beeeyatch Beth asked me a while ago if I fancied taking part in the Marwell Zoo 10k in Hampshire – Sure I said, why not. A little while later I took a look at the course map – it looked a little hilly but hey, no worries I thought Then I noticed another stinger. As the course is on the open road and you need to listen out for marshals and – erm, tractors – they don’t allow you to wear any kind of headphone. This sent me into a panic. Hills AND no Rocky Theme Tune for distraction – eek!!
We road tripped to Hampshire with Beth, her husband John and her Dad Mike who was also running his first race. From the offset, there was a lovely vibe. Everything was really well organised – Just over a thousand runners in total and there was a great atmosphere in the pre-race area. We collected our chips, tried to work out how to attach them, then started our warm up lunges beside the Tapir and Cheetahs.
Well, it would have been beautiful except for the fact that the first half was ONE GREAT BIG MASSIVE HILL!! Fellow runners told survivors stories of the course – “oh yeah, this is a very challenging course – the hills are pretty steep and go on for a long time” – bloody hell! The marshals and people at the water stations were great and gave out Jelly Babies with love. Marshals were super supportive in mostly a non annoying way. One though who I picked out as a definite Keeno was shouting “Looking Good Ladies” to every female that passed by hmmmm – the sight of a red faced, overweight woman struggling up a hill is hardly ‘a good look’ in my books.
Thankfully the last half was mostly downhill or flat. As no headphones were allowed, I was able to chat to those around me. I made lots of new friends including one dressed as a parrot and one as a zebra. I crossed the finish line in one hour three minutes. Beth and her Dad both killed it, beating me despite it being their first ever running race. Beth wins the award for funniest finish photo as she tried to listen out for her time on the iPhone strapped to her arm.
We were disappointed with the race bling, or more accurately, lack of it. Instead of getting a finishers medal we got a crappy badge
I have to say though that this was the only disappointment. The race was very well organised and everyone was super friendly. I’d definitely do it again. One additional bonus was being able to go round the zoo afterwards – it was very cool – giraffes are my favourite….
I’m doing another 10k next weekend – the Bupa London 10,000. It was a boost for the confidence knowing I can actually run perfectly well without the distraction of music and I can cope with monster hills without totally dying. I would love to finish a 10k this summer in under an hour. Amazing to think it’s a real possibility when this time last year I couldn’t run for 60 seconds… Good times
Rock on with the Summer Races…..