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A DIFFERENT KIND OF 10

My running has always been quite a selfish hobby. Like many people, I run for ‘me time’, to challenge myself physically and mentally and to boost my self-esteem. And, while I wouldn’t usually admit it, I run races more to beat my PBs than to have fun. Hence, I’d never be one to choose a trail race – always a road option, preferably one that’s fast and flat. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not lined up with the blokes in the front pen, tearing down every man, woman and child to be first at the gun, but I secretly like to think of myself as a little ‘hardcore’.

But all of this changed earlier this month when I took part in the Cancer Research UK Tough 10 with my mum, Jane. She’s always supported my running and, after each of my races, consistently exclaims: “I don’t know how you do it!” This is typical of her, really. She took up running two years ago and still won’t call herself a “proper runner” – even when she took part in her first ever race at the Women’s Running 5K event at Wythenshawe Park this summer, she refused to believe she’d run a “proper race”, given she hadn’t taken part in the “main” 10K. It was at that point I decided she needed to put a stop to the self-doubt once and for all and learn that she is a proper runner.

To be enough to convince her that this was a “proper” race, I decided to choose a race that was: a) the furthest distance she had run before and b) one that had “tough” in the name. Both were enough to scare her out of her skin and she’s thrown herself into training. She’s grappled injuries, cross-trained to her heart’s content, and managed to steal a quid off just about everyone she knows for sponsorship. And when she texted to me to tell me that she’d not slept all week worrying that she wouldn’t be able to make it round the course and how awful she feared the experience might be, I decided that I, myself, would have to adopt a new approach to racing to ensure neither of her fears became a reality. This race, for once, wasn’t going to be about me, and it wasn’t going to be about times. It was about getting round and having fun.

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Women’s Running
Jan 2017
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