The last twelve Friday posts have been leading up to this moment, the post where I can say I finally ran the York 10K for The Stroke Association. It was a day filled with pride, fun, laughter, nerves and excitement. It was probably one of my proudest achievements, and a day I will never forget.
Every morning when I would get up and go for a run I would never be able to eat beforehand - a glass of apple juice would be enough, or I'd be feeling sick with a terrible stitch. So on race day I got up at 5:45 in order to be able to eat to give me energy before I ran. I demolished an omelette (protein!) at 6:30am!
On our way to the race it was pretty miserable weather. The closer we got to York the rainier it got. My excitement was dwindling. We put Radio York on in the car to see if they'd give us a weather update or talk about the race, and we were astounded when we heard quotes from my Radio interview feature on the 7am and 8am news! That perked me up!
We were the first to arrive out of myself, Abi and Bridie, so we parked up and walked to the event village to meet them there. Waiting was probably the worst bit, waiting to join the start line, waiting for the warm up, waiting for the race to start - just added to the nerves.
When Abi arrived we joined the start line and took part in the mass warm up. While waiting for the race to start a gentleman tapped me on the shoulder, and saw we were running for the Stroke Association and explained that he had had a stroke 11 years ago. It turns out he lives only a few miles away from me. Both his wife and himself were running, and they were lovely - they were so interested to know about why we were running, my story and everything else. I hope they had a good day.
When the gun finally went off people started crossing the start line. Due to our estimated finishing time, we started quite far back. With 6000 people running, it took us a long time to get across the start line, but once we did, we were off. We were careful not too set off too quickly as we'd heard a lot of people say the adrenaline can kick it, and then you'll start struggling half way around.
We ran the entire route. No stopping, no walking. I know it sounds cheesy, but the crowds really do carry you, and nearly the entire route was lined with people cheering and waving, clapping, playing music (shoutout to the boy playing the trumpet and the people blasting music from their bedroom speakers) and just generally giving a good vibe...I can't believe I've just said vibe!
It went so quickly and when we were on those last couple of kilometres, I was quite sad we were nearing the end. That final home stretch was very emotional. We could see our families and friends cheering on the side line (also, hello to Alex who wore a personalised T-Shirt with our faces on! Brilliant!), and we all ran those final 400m or so, holding hands and smiling from ear to ear. I couldn't have been prouder in those final few moments. Every step I took I thought of how much money we had raised, all the people that those pounds will help. And there are a lot of them - because between the three of us we think we've raised nearly £1000. Considering between us we would have thought £300 or so pounds would have been an incredible achievement, the money we have raised has surpassed all the expectation we possible could have had.
It took us nearly 15 minutes to get to the start line before we even got running, so when we crossed the finish we took this off and found out we'd ran in a PB time of 1:13:08. People would be able to do it faster, and you never know, one day we may break this (should I do it again at some point?) but on that day it couldn't have gone better!
Thank you for all the good luck tweets, comments and messages I received. Thank you if you donated because your money will go a very long way to helping people just like me. Thank you if you've been reading my fitness Friday posts and have been interested in my journey from becoming the girl who hated running 1500m at school to the girl who has ran 10K post stroke for charity.
This is one of the proudest achievements in my life and something I will NEVER forget.