It was the Race for Life here in Bath yesterday and...I did it! I ran with one of my sisters and we finished the 5km in 33 minutes according to her watch - which is not too shabby a time, is it?
It was an extraordinary experience - so moving, reading all the poignant, often heart-breaking messages on people's backs. People were running for their mums, dads, sisters, grandparents, aunts... It really brought it home to me how many lives are affected by cancer. The atmosphere beforehand was very highly charged, very emotional, but there was also a real buzz of excitement and adrenalin, and it felt as if everyone was revved up for the event. The Nivea boys were there to entertain 'the ladies' with their dance routine (hilarious, especially the two dancers at the back who looked hungover as hell and kept fumbling their moves), and the warm-up from the Rosemary Conley women was ace, and then we were off, along with 2,498 other women, pounding across the start line.
It was quite something, being with so many other runners, so many other women, all emotional, all motivated to run with so many different people in mind. That whole sisterhood feeling really got me - it was exhilarating and inspiring all at once. We were running in the university grounds, a great stream of women wearing pink, different ages, different fitness levels, all in it together, a sea of positive feeling.
By the time we were near the 4km mark, I was feeling really buoyant with excitement - I wasn't out of breath, I felt totally brilliant about running, knowing that we were going to finish it. Lovely Partner and the kids were cheering us on near the end and it gave me a real lift to see them on the sidelines - "Look, there's Mum!". Then we were straight on to the Finish line, me and my sister holding hands as we sprinted over.
I felt so so so proud of myself. Still do. I know it's not the London marathon, I know thousands of women all over the country are running the same event, it's not a unique experience, but it was the first time I've ever done anything like it, and I just felt euphoric. Big pub lunch afterwards and glasses of bubbly last night. Yayyyy!