During my times running I’ve been lucky enough to see quite a lot of the UK (and some parts of Europe) while I’ve been travelling to events.
So on May 2nd 2015 I found myself on a train on the way to Nottingham for a 10k in Cotgrave. This was an untapped area for me as I’ve never been down this part of the country before.
“Why so far for a 10k Steve?” I hear you ask.
Well, I was just getting to that. You’re so impatient…
If you’re a regular reader to the blog then you’ll know that I’ve decided to fundraise for Cure Rett throughout 2015. Cure Rett organised an event in Cotgrave in 2014 called Run for her life and the event returned in 2015 with a 10k and 5k route as well as a 2k fun run. I had the weekend off so it seemed like a no brainer to go down and support the event as well as taking part.
I was on my way down to meet fundraising and merchandise manager Lisa who had also arranged for my accommodation for the night, a caravan. I’d never stayed in a caravan before and it was all fairly exciting…I felt like a little kid. I was met at Nottingham train station by Lisa’s partner Ben who drove me into Cotgrave. (If you’re ever in Nottingham do check out the train station, it’s a lovely work of architecture).
Once in Cotgrave I was shown to my digs and introduced to everyone. The intention was to head to a pub and get some food. The first one we went in wasn’t serving food and the second one was a fairly long wait followed by myself getting stitched up with my fish and chips (Think more batter and less fish). Luckily the company was lovely and everyone was very nice to me and I ended up having some top-notch risotto made for me.
I did feel a bit trepidatious about heading all the way down to Nottingham without actually truly knowing anyone as I find it difficult meeting new people at the best of times but it was so nice and reassuring that everyone was very accommodating and friendly.
As the night was drawing in I decided to head back to the caravan and get my head down for the night. I wasn’t overly sure how much sleep I’d get but I was hoping I would get some. Just before midnight I got my head down and stuck my doctor who podcasts on but within minutes it would appear that I had fallen asleep as the next thing I knew it was three o’clock. Over the next few hours I drifted in and out of sleep before waking fully at seven. Not bad overall, I’ve had worse sleeps in hotels.
A trip back over to Lisa’s for porridge and a shower and I was ready for the day ahead.
We headed over to Cotgrave Country Park, where the event was being held, to get registered and warmed up before the start of 11am.
Once registered I had the chance to meet a few people, some of whom seemed quite surprised that I’d travelled all the way from Carlisle.
Just before the 10k there was a mass warm up where I potentially overdid it. I’ll stick to my own stretching in the future, it’s never done me wrong. A parent of one of the children with Rett did a speech before the start which certainly did tug at the heartstrings for many that were in attendance. It brought home what everyone was there for on the day and the exertion and pain that we would endure for a short time is something that these families are living with on a daily basis.
11am and the 10k was off (5 minutes after this the 5k would be setting off too). It had been chucking it down all morning and within minutes of the start the sun came out. Things were about to get a bit warm and sticky. I was still post marathon and my legs weren’t behaving well this week and I had a feeling they certainly wouldn’t be liking the technical and hilly 2 lap course they were about to endure.
There was a climb up to 2k which was a lovely view from the top of the hill as well as a climb just after 4k which had been nicknamed DOOM HILL. The first go up Doom Hill didn’t seem too bad but heading back into the second lap of the course my legs were heavy and my stomach was bouncing. The hills were hard going on the second go around and it was getting fairly warm but I was going fairly steady. A second go up Doom Hill and the end was in sight. The event wasn’t a chip timed event so it was a case of just going off the watch. I crossed the line in 53:39 which, given the course, I was fairly happy with. A quick stretch out and it was time to join the fun run to get the legs going again. I had a five-hour trip back to Carlisle so the fun run was an ideal way to stretch the legs out and wear a silly hat in the process.
Once the fun run was over my time in Cotgrave was coming to an end. I said my goodbyes and was able to get a quick shower in before heading back to Nottingham Train Station. Cotgrave is certainly a lovely part of the world and has a quiet, rural retreat type of feel to it. It did seem very peaceful while I was there and looked like a lovely place to live.
As far as the event goes it has to go down as one of the most organised events I’ve taken part in. I’ve paid a shedload of money for some 10k’s that were less organised than this and it’s a credit to the people involved at how well ran it was and how well attended it was. Hopefully, I’ll be back again next year this time with my family in tow (work permitting).
My thanks must go to Lisa, Ben and their family for being so accommodating during my trip, I hope I didn’t impose too much. It was lovely to meet everyone involved and so pleasing how friendly everyone was to me despite not knowing me from Adam (whoever he is).
On the return I ended up going the scenic route back via Leeds, I don’t often take pictures but there were some lovely sights on the trip back home so it seemed rude not to.
It was lovely to get back home and see the family again and, for those who like happy endings, I finally got my fish and chips.
Fundraising continues at Just-Giving.
And, to close out…It would appear I’ve gotten caught up in Autumn marathon fever again. More on that next time.