Race for Life
I signed up for the Race for Life ages before the actual race so got plenty of emails reminding me about when and where and giving me plenty of useful information. About a month before race day all of our numbers arrived, along with all of the useful information and some lovely tattoos we could use on the day.
On the day we dressed in pink and I applied as much pink face paint as practically possible. This was the first race I'd ever run with my children so was a little apprehensive. Although we had been on training runs, my youngest daughter isn't the greatest lover of running. She is autistic and although I'm not sure there's a connection between this dislike of running and autism, the not being in control aspect is difficult for her, as I will explain further.
We arrived at Heaton Park in plenty of time and parked in a secret location to avoid the traffic later on. We had a wander around the charity stalls and even bought some pre-race churros. I have to say that's something I've never done before a race in the past :) We had a photo booth experience and joined in with the warm up.
There was a serious runners section, a jogging section and a walking section. It was incredibly busy and as we made our way towards the start line we stuck to the back of the jogging section. We started off well with a fair amount of jogging and even though the paths were completely packed we managed to overtake a lot of ladies. It wasn't too far in that my youngest daughter started to complain and we had to have a few walking breaks. We took on the walk, run strategy whilst my eldest and my partner’s daughter ran ahead.
We were surrounded by more and more women and my youngest was determined to run but getting more stressed out by the minute. She was crying and I held her hand as we ran. We walked so she could catch her breath but as she saw her sister ahead she’d want to run again but again would start crying which escalated. We caught up to her sister and by around 4km she was hysterical, shouting ‘I can’t breathe’. I know this isn’t the case as she did this on training runs after just seconds of running. So I guided her through the crowds of women and talked her through section, ‘just one more hill’, ‘only down this bit’, ‘nearly there’. To which she would shout ‘shut up’ ‘stop talking me’. Her usual response when having a meltdown.
At the finish line she wasn’t even relieved to finish she was just sad and needed to calm down. More churros and a cuddle helped J
We all received a medal and some free water, a snack and there was a free milkshake if you wanted one too.
The race for life is a well organised race but it is very busy as high numbers of women participate.