Challenge Running Flitch Way 10k run report
Flitch Way 10k run report by Linda Coombe & Lorraine Hamilton
So, last Sunday (10th April) Lorraine & I ran our first ever event with the Flyers- the Flitch way 10k. We’d both only ever ran 10k once before so I was quite nervous. I was also a little paranoid and worrying about my speed (well, lack of). However, Lorraine seemed full of confidence after telling me she’d entered this and after chatting with a few fellow Flyers at parkrun I entered too. Sunday morning I woke super early with a mixture of nerves and excitement. We made our way to Ash’s house as she was kindly driving us along with Tina. As we met Ash we heard cheers on the seafront and saw Kelly and Kay. After some shouts and more cheers of encouragement to them they carried on their long run and we headed off. On route Ash and Tina had myself and Lorraine in stitches talking about their different ailments but were both so looking forward to race despite any injuries, aches or pains (us thinking we have this to look forward too). Tina told us about a hill that the Marathon Flitch way team had to run up at finish. Tina actually cupped her hands & said it is only a little mole hill!! Hang on – hills!!?? The website mentioned a flat back and out route. I didn’t recall anything about hills!
pictured with Challenge Running organiser Lindley before the start
We arrived at the venue nice and early and to join the vision of orange already in the race HQ room- Keith, Graham, Anne, Mark, Nicki and Paul. We registered and as we were early we got to see the start of the junior parkrun, the young runners were so full of enthusiasm and so diddy! From the window I could also see the dreaded huge hill! I choose to ignore it and worry about it once I got to it at the end. We all had a chat about layers, some braved Flyers vests and then, before we knew it, it was time for the runner briefing. At this stage my nerves were kicking in slightly but I’d remembered what I’d read on the website- as long as you finish the first 5k in an hour and the whole thing in 2 hours it was fine. My parkruns are around 43 minutes so I knew I’d be ok, as least I wasn’t in a panic about being too slow for this run. I was surprised at the lack of crowd at this event, I’m so used to our lovely big parkrun crowds I was surprised that 78 people were at the briefing. Lorraine and Tina noticed this too but didn’t seem half as fazed by this. Tina was now very calming and making us giggle! Keith overheard us commenting at the numbers and assured us we’d be fine and that it was an ‘exclusive race’.
We love how Keith & the rest of the Flyers are so supportive & caring. We kept using the word exclusive no end to our great amusement. The weather was perfect- a nice sunny day that wasn’t too hot. A quick team photo was taken, lots of good lucks then we walked over a road bridge and through a few muddy sections to the start. Also dodging being grabbed by twigs. Then we were off! As I only have one speed I was soon overtaken by the other runners and it was here that Lorraine told me she’d stay with me so I wouldn’t have to run alone! (That’s what is part of being a great Flyer, right orange family? Quoted by Lorraine) Lorraine- thank you, you have absolutely no idea how much that meant to be and how it helped my nerves disappear (It doesn’t help my laughter lines – Quoted by Lorraine). The route was really scenic, on parts we could tell we were running along an old disused railway line- the old carriage sits outside the station which is now a café was lovely to pass It was a nice change to run through woodland as we are so used to running up and down the seafront at home. Great to be clapped and cheered on by local people. The course had some right sneaky (not mentioned on the website) footbridges which were tough to get over. One lady running told us welcome to the bridge of doom as we ran over it for the first time. It made Lorraine and I both laugh. Before we made it to the half way mark we passed Graham, who even had time to high five us as he sped past and offered encouragement. The next flyers we saw were Mark, Nicki & Anne again more high fives. The other runners were also very encouraging which was lovely. We got to the half way mark and had a cheeky haribo sweet and a quick drink before the marshal wanted to take our photo before we ran off. We passed lots of Sunday walkers, cyclists and other runners on the return leg of the run. We even got a big cheer as passed the café again. As we hit the 8k mark, I was feeling a bit worn out, but plodded on. As Lorraine was running my pace and not hers she was zooming up and hills (oh yes, those unnecessary hills) or gentle inclines as we commented that Keith would call them, we were chatting away while running passing the sunny scenery that it really made the time pass well. We even had a few moments of uncontrollable laughter which did not help my breathing! Before we knew it the dreaded finish hill was in sight (we didn’t see a huge mole on route just rabbits) we both laughed nervously and commented that hills are so unnecessary but not getting up it to collect our finishing medals was not an option. We came onto the last muddy path before the foot of the hill to see Keith, Graham & Paul waiting for us at the bottom, it was such a lift seeing them! Before I could blink Lorraine was off and up like someone possessed. Those Shorefield sessions obviously paid off (The saying goes ‘just one more rep’). Keith, Graham and Paul were shouting encouragement as was Ash, Nikki, Mark, Tina and Anne. They had all waited for us then were spread out over the hill to help cheer us on. I swear I would not have got up that hill without any of you! Finally I managed to touch the bird and was given my medal! I was so knackered but so so chuffed! There were lots of hugs, more high fives and I was given a t- shirt just before we had a team photo. I hadn’t quite got my breath back to even get my t-shirt on for the photo but who cares- I’d just ran my first ever race and a 10k one at that! Lorraine had collected her 2nd ever medal but 1st for a 10k and a 1st for us both with the Flyers family! We walked back down the hill (sorry, slight incline) and headed back to the race HQ café area to collect our bags and grab a drink. It was during this walk back that Lorraine and I both realised how long everyone had waited for us to finish! How generous of them all! Thank you guys, it made the race seeing you all at the finish! I only looked at my finish time once I’d got home, I was more than happy that I’d completed it with the Flyers! I honestly can say I didn’t care about the time it took. I am however, entering it again in September and will be beating my April time! (Quote Lorraine- Me too & Linda we started a journey together in a lovely family and long may it continue!!)