I’d been told about the Appleby 10k from a few of the entrants of the previous year. It was billed as slightly undulating but I was warned of some fairly hefty hills in the first couple of miles.
Regardless, I got myself booked in and signed the boy up for the fun run which was due to start an hour and half before the 10k.
So we packed the family into the car and headed down to Appleby with the aim of being there for about 10 o’clock to give us a chance to get sorted before the fun run.
Mrs C and the girl were going to be hanging about Appleby Grammar School while we boys did our running thing. Hopefully the girl becomes a runner too but she’s got to master this crawling thing first. These 10k’s always seem to be in the middle of nowhere and I always feel sorry for Mrs C when she comes along as there’s usually not much going on for a spectator. I’m sure it’ll be a different story when the clan rock up to Dublin for the Dublin Marathon. I’m guessing there’ll be a bit more going on for the spectators there.
We ended up arriving at Appleby just before 10 and we went to grab our numbers for the fun run and get sorted. The boy is still a bit of a maverick when it comes to running so we ended up rocking up to the start line with him in his denim jacket and his Mickey Mouse backpack…despite a few conversations asking him to take both off.
There were quite a lot of runners taking part in the fun run and I wasn’t sure how the boy was going to take to it but he was raring to go. With the first stretch being downhill he was chuffed to bits that he was passing people. Not long into it we encountered our first hill and he had a fair bash at it before saying he was a bit tired. After telling him to slow down and to just keep his legs moving I thought we’d be walking the next mile and a half but not long after saying he was tired he was tearing off ahead of me again. He was determined to not let the girl who had walked most of the way get past him (he’s a bit like his dad) and so the next mile was a cat and mouse game of her passing him and then him taking off and getting past her and then trying to put some distance into her. I knew we weren’t that far off so I just kept telling him that Mummy wasn’t far away and he was just about to get his medal. With a quarter of a mile to go he started motoring again and we headed for the finish. The girl he was desperate to beat wasn’t that far behind but just like his dad it seems the boy has a wicked sprint finish on him. We crossed the line and he picked up his medal and he was chuffed to bits. I hadn’t timed it but having checked the clock just after I wouldn’t be surprised if it took him about 25 minutes all in all and considering it had been raining for some of that I was really pleased for him. I truly hope that we can both have more moments like this together. There’s no greater feeling than seeing your son (or daughter for that matter) getting a buzz after achieving something. I’m still very wary of pushing him into running as I really want him to make the decision on whether he wants to do it or not. At the moment he seems happy to do it and when he finished he said he wanted more medals so it’s something to build on. I definitely don’t want to be a pushy parent though.
Having finished the fun run I caught up with the rest of the DH Runners who had just arrived for the 10k.
With doing the fun run just before I knew that the first two miles would be over the same course so I was happy that the start would be mostly downhill but I was also conscious of the fact that the uphill section would arrive soon enough. My plan of action was to take it steady as I was still in my first week of marathon training. I was aiming for a finish of around 50 minutes all in all and was going to run with fellow DH Runner Natalie for a bit of company along the route.
After the obligatory team photo we all headed over to the start line for the Midday start.
Not long after we were off and, as predicted, the first couple of miles were along the same route as the fun run. It wasn’t long before we were turning right for the three mile loop from miles 2 to 5. It was at this point that the sun came out and things started to get stuffy.
The mile between 4 and 5 miles was a long slog and was probably the one where most runners got caught out time-wise. Once we turned at mile 5 for the stretch to the finish though it was all downhill from there. We’d picked up a bit of time here and it looked like it was probably going to be a finish of around 50 minutes. Arriving back at the school we still had a 300 metre stretch on the grass before the finish. It was hard to get any sort of momentum on the grass for some reason but a final push and with the end in sight I crossed the line at 50:36.
Not my greatest 10k in recent memory but I’d managed to stay disciplined enough to finish around the time I wanted to. We stayed and clapped in the rest of the DH Runners and some Carlisle Tri-club members that were out on the course and then we headed back home.
The boy was hyper for the rest of the day. I’ll have to see what other races I can get him entered into.
Next up for me is Regents Park 10k on July 26th.
Many thanks to the organisers Appleby Rotary Club for the well organised 10k.
Before that though I have the Cure Rett Fundraiser on July 18th. More details on that here
Fundraising for Cure Rett continues at this link.