My first 10k race – the verdict

The last-but-one post on this very irregular blog concerned my mealy-mouthed preparations for the Jane Tomlinson Pennine Lancashire 10k run in Blackburn.

Frankly, I didn’t up the training routine as much as I should have in the last few months, while my ‘one or two drinks’ the night before turned into a rather more extended session.

But somehow, after just two hours’ sleep, I managed to complete the 10 kilometre route up and down the hills in 48-and-a-bit minutes.

That put me in about 160th place overall, and ahead of all but one of the 11 work colleagues who ran, much to their annoyance given my dishevelled ‘morning after’ appearance and the fact I was filming the race on a Flip video camera while running.

More impressive, though, was colleague Nafeesa Shan’s finish of just over an hour despite having only arrived from Afghanistan the day before having been embedded with Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment troops for an intense week.

And of course most important was the fundraising element. I grabbed organiser Mike Tomlinson, widower of Jane, for a quick Flip interview at the end who beamed with satisfaction as he saw the Pendleside and East Lancashire Hospice tents full of fundraisers. The event will return if those main charities raised enough money.

Personally, I managed to coax £115 out of family (and one fellow blogger) which has gone to the Stroke Association. The combined fundraising effort of work colleagues raised hundreds for the Jane Tomlinson Appeal.

Afterwards, without the race on the horizon to spur me on, I found it even more tricky to motivate myself to go running to keep fit. Solution? Sign up to some more races.

So I’ve since tackled the City Of Salford 10k in 51 minutes, a reasonable effort as I had a heavy cold, and have already pencilled in the Accrington 10k and Whitworth 5k where hopefully I will run without having to start inventing excuses.

If you’re interested in taking part in a race in the North of England, I can thoroughly recommend the events calendar on John Schofield’s athletics website.

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