It was for this race that Linda and I had been submitting ourselves to hill efforts at club for the past few months. We were determined that we would make it up the hill in Trowse both times without having to lie on the floor and groan. And we did! We had a great race – managing a good finishing time (55:25 which gives us the Club silver time – hurray!) and chatting and enjoying it the whole way round (well, maybe the chatting and enjoyment was a bit sparser towards the top of the hill the second time round)
It was a wonderful day. I had focused my thoughts (fears) on the hill and had not really given much attention to the rest of the race. And of course, most of the race is downhill or flat. The downhill section is a lovely long sweeping 2k which is gentle enough to enjoy but downhill enough to be restful. I loved that bit. And the part alongside Whitlingham Broad is always nice to run along and it wasn’t too muddy.
We managed to maintain a fairly even pace – slower on the hill of course but not too much so – and our pace didn’t drop towards the end of the race. We had both agreed, at the 8k mark, that we had nothing left for a sprint finish but somehow, when we could see the turn for the car park lurking further down the road, we found something and off we went. I felt good for the whole run and I am fairly confident that I could put in a much faster time on the flat 5 milers at Great Yarmouth which are coming up and the GEAR 10k which is also pancake flat. So I finished the race feeling very positive both about the recovery of my ankle and the fact that I didn’t seem to have lost a lot of running fitness (my quads did ache the next morning!)
But it wasn’t just the race itself that made it such a good day for me. Being part of the NRR running community gives me such a warm glow inside and makes events a fun social occasion. Some of my friends (Sally, perhaps?) might remember me holding forth about how I could never join a club, how I would hate having to run with other people and how the beauty of running was being able to get out there on my own whenever I wanted!! How wrong I was! I love being part of the Club. It’s great having people to run with but also the camaraderie from Norwich Road Runners, not just those running but also those spectating, supporting or taking fabulous photos is fantastic and it is inspiring to watch people train, improve and compete at whatever level that may be. The club is for everyone – fast or slow or inbetween.
And at this event, it wasn’t just NRR folks – there were also some pals from my cycling club (I love VCN too) and my friends, Sally, Geoff and Jayne with whom I shared a very tasty lunch at the River Green afterwards.
What a fantastic day!