Well, last time I ran Race for Life Twilight I said I might turn up late and skip the warm up, but I didn’t mean this late.

Last weekend I ran Race for Life with the Norfolk Brawds at the Norfolk Showground, and the start was like every nightmare I ever had in the run up to last years Half Marathon.

The race started at 11am, and we’d planned to meet at 10:15am. So at 9:45am we left to travel the 6 miles across Norwich to the venue. At 10am we were 1.2 miles from the Showground, and it took us 30 minutes to travel the remaining distance. On arrival I needed to use the toilets, which were rows of portaloos, each with their own individual queue for a group of 4. So I joined the back of a queue, where I stood for a further 30 minutes desperately wondering how exposed the wooded areas where while children, elderly men and women dressed in pink wandered in and out of the queue chatting and laughing.

toilet queue

at about 11am I was first in the queue and could hear the race starting. This meant I’d missed being in that lovely runners pen at the front that made me feel so fancy and had to dash madly across round the corner. I had no idea where the start was, and was starting to panic a little until I spotted a straggly column of pink clad women making their way across the grass and obligingly joined the end.

I tried to run, I really did, but at every turn I found my way blocked by people in costume, or tied together, or holding hands, and it very quickly became apparent that unless you join the runners pen at the front, you can’t really run a Race for Life, or at least you can’t start it running!

I was starting to feel a little frustrated, and then at about 1k I caught up with 2 of the Brawds I was supposed to meet at the start. They were walking, so I walked with them for about a kilometre, before running on. It was, of course, at this point that Mr Chick caught me on camera!

waving

The crowd had thinned out a little, but it was still quite a stop/start run, and then at about 3.5k I caught up with another Brawd taking a walk break with her daughter and joined them for a while, before running the last half a kilometre across the line.

So, not exactly my best 5k time, coming in at 38 minutes according to my Nike Plus, but once I’d given up on the frustration, a nice day out! We got a medal, and a chocolate brioche, which I didn’t want and looked really unappealing have sat in the sun in it’s sweaty plastic packaging for quite some time, but thankfully the ladies from Pink Lady Apples were all also there giving out far more appealing crisp apples.

It seems one of my running team DID make it on time to join the exclusive runners pen, so she’d already been and gone by the time we finished, but the rest of us posed for the obligatory victory photos.

Brawds

So, Race for Life. If you want to run it, you need to get there mega early and make sure you get in that runners pen. Otherwise abandon all hope and just give yourself up to the atmosphere, which is pretty cool.

If you’d like to donate to Cancer Research, you can do so through the Norfolk Brawds Just Giving page.