1.5. Resolution 15K

1.5. The Resolution 15k – Sunday, March 24

Forest of Dean - snow finish.  Courtesy of www.forestofdean-halfmarathon.co.uk

Forest of Dean – snow finish. Courtesy of http://www.forestofdean-halfmarathon.co.uk

At 10pm on Saturday we were pumped and  ready for our second challenge – and our first half marathon of the year –  but alas, crappy weather threw a spanner in the works. Check out the snow at the Forest of Dean →

So the race was postponed – at the time of writing we were still waiting to hear when it is being rearranged for so we aren’t yet sure if we’ll actually get to do it. 

So, in a carb-loaded frenzy we hunted around for a last minute event we could enter with less than 24 hours to go. Step up the Resolution 15k at Ashton Court. Miraculously, we could enter on the day, and as a bonus it was less distance to travel and a later start time, so we had a nice bit of extra sleep – great! Challenge number one-and-a-half was one…

Part of the Resolution Run series for the Stroke Association, it was a 5k route around the beautiful Ashton Court in Bristol – people could choose to run the lap once, twice, or three times.  It is a reasonably new event to the running calendar, but its growing in size so we weren’t given official timing chips and had to rely on our own stop watches/heart rate monitors.

I don’t recall ever being so cold before a race! After signing up (thanks to some very friendly race organisers) we joined in with the warm-up session being led by an enthusiastic personal trainer. We defrosted a little with everyone else by running in circles and getting the blood flowing through the muscles and before we knew it, it was time to start.

The cross country 5k route was a sometimes challenging one, but at least by doing 3 laps we could mentally prepare for what was to come in laps 2 and 3.

Courtesy of 'downsrunner' on flickr

Courtesy of ‘downsrunner’ on flickr

Somewhere after the first kilometre, there was a zig-zaggy gradient to run up, then, while avoiding any mountain bikers, a rather boggy bit of track to conquer. It was about here that Dom made some ground ahead of me on the first lap – I swear I nearly lost my shoe in the mud at one point! Then from 3-5k it was broadly downhill, albeit with some seriously strong headwind as we ran across the exposed top of Ashton Court.  It was nice to open out the stride a little once we got to a more sheltered downhill tarmac track.

Fair play to the residents of Bristol – there were a lot of other people out walking, running or cycling on this freezing Sunday!

Cozzie and Arthur. Courtesy of 'downsrunner' on flickr

Cozzie and Arthur. Courtesy of ‘downsrunner’ on flickr

After the first lap, the number of competitors began to tail off and I had a sneaking suspicion I’d be running some of it on my lonesome, particularly once getting to lap 3.  However, on the tail end of lap 2 I had the pleasure of running with a young Malaysian student, Arthur, from Bath. We had been tracking each other throughout the route, so ran along together for the next few kilometres.  It’s always nice to break up the run a bit with some conversation!

Rather disappointingly, as I passed the 10k lap marker, I heard over the loudspeaker the announcement of the first 10k female finisher – it could have been me!

The 3rd lap was a good one.  The race marshals and the race photographer were fantastic and really chatty – I really felt for them standing out there guiding us on such a bitterly cold morning!  Arthur got a bit of cramp so I carried on ahead of him.  Dom was long out of sight (barring a fierce high five when we crossed paths near the 10k lap) although at this stage I couldn’t tell quite how far in front he was.

IMG_5585

Cold, tired but very satisfied – challenge 1.5 is ticked off!

Crossing the finish line was great – go the runners high!  Other runners were still lingering and cheering everyone through.  And it turns out I was 5th female finisher (1:26:10), and Dom was 5th male finisher (1:21:07) in the 15k race (c. 65 competitors) – amazeballs!

We’ll let you know if we get to do the re-scheduled Forest of Dean half marathon, but in the meantime, please continue to support us and this fabulous cause:

http://www.justgiving.com/helpinghearts2013