Race for Life 2009
I did it! I completed 'The Race for Life' last Sunday. Next year the London Marathon?
The Race for Life 2009 was held at Herrington Country Park, near Sunderland against a backdrop of bright blue sky and Penshaw Monument. It was in aid of Cancer Research 2009 and approximately 3000 women took part, my entry number was 1329.
I missed most of the aerobic warm up at the beginning, because being vertically challenged and at the back of the crowd, I couldn't see the stage. I did however attempt to follow those in front of me and wave an arm about now and again. The smell of onions and burgers filled the air and the sun was warm. The atmosphere was incredible.
I couldn't hear much either at the back and so I thought it best just to follow the crowds. Luckily I followed the red flag that said 'walkers'. There were three categories, the runners who set off through the archway first, then the joggers, then walkers.
It was certainly an awesome sight, a seething mass of thousands of women in pink t-shirts, some wearing bright pink wigs, pink tutus, pink tights, or angel wings and antlers. One group was dressed as 'Pink Ladies' complete with inscribed jackets, wigs and sunglasses. Others were carrying babies or pushing a wheelchair or a pushchair. I saw one little dog dressed for the occasion, trotting along with pink antlers waving. Photos of the event can be viewed on the Metro Radio website.
I did find it all very emotional, reading the inscriptions on people's backs. Some were very simple: I race for life for: 'My Nana' or I race for life for: 'All Cancer Sufferers', whilst others sported photographs, dates and stories.
The route was 5 km long and we walked down past the lake with its swans, past woods, up past the sculptures on the hill, with Race Marshalls stationed at the end of every km along the route, handing out bottles of water, saying, 'Congratulations, your half way there.'
It was a great feeling to cross the finish line see everyone beaming, cheering and congratulating us from the sidelines, holding up posters saying, 'Well Done!'
We were all presented with a medal on a bright pink ribbon with the inscription 'Cancer Research UK Race for Life 2009' and a pink goody bag containing healthy samples of green tea, herbal drops and Nivea products.
It was a fabulous event and I enjoyed every second. However, I felt a bit of a fraud as I have walked this route many, many times before as this is our local park, but I did manage to keep up a brisk pace all the way round. Next year I'm going to aspire to be a jogger...