The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.

A little while back I wrote about my struggle to get up off my backside and move my legs – well, I thought I’d give a little update on how that was going! Last Saturday was the night me and my friend were aiming for – the Nike women’s run We Own the Night. Just a short little 10k around Victoria Park.

Like my sexyface?

This is my race face.

The training had gone pretty well – giving myself something to aim for, and something that I couldn’t just dismiss as not requiring training, meant that I had run out of excuses – and even got out and about in the pouring rain, which quite frankly shows a keenness beyond all normal bounds of sanity. The picture below was taken on my rainiest run in the 18 months I’ve been visiting Judith.

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Turns out I love a peace-sign selfie.

My friend Nat and I had got out once to run together, which went pretty well (we found the optimum running speed which meant we could keep up a good gossip at the same time. There’s probably a scientific formula for it)

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Surprisingly chipper for two people about to run over 6 miles.

Before the race, the longest distance Nat had run for was about 5k, and she was expecting to keep up a routine of running-walking throughout the race, so she was feeling nervous before the start. The atmosphere was great though, with music playing and MC-ing by Daddy Dark from Run Dem Crew – and everyone was chatting to each other whilst we waited for the start. We spoke to two other ladies who were also just hoping to get around, and the lady to the other start was covered in fairy lights. Not like any other race I’ve been to!

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Everyone loves a high-five.

The course was also great fun – and the friendliest I’ve ever done. It’s the only run I’ve ever done where you could hear people chatting all around you, and we even chatted to a few people as we went around. Throughout the course at various places there was music playing, bands, and disco tunnels of light to keep us entertained. And dancing (like our legs weren’t suffering enough). There were people cheering all the way around, making us feel like a million dollars (“Who owns the night?” “We do!”) – and we managed to see our boyfriends twice on the way round for a sneaky high-five to keep us going.

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Victory is ours!

Nat was an absolute machine. At about 4k I said to her “I reckon you’re going to run this all the way round” and she just smiled and said “I am! I’m going to run it!” And she did! Ran all the way – I was so proud of her. We even managed a sprint finish over the line, which is the only way to end a race in my view.

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We totally did.

The race was great fun, although I think Nike needs to rethink the course a little bit. We were the last pen to start, and by the time we got going, the fastest wave were on their second lap. I don’t mind being overtaken, but I think we all got in the way and might have prevented a few PBs. Next time they should cordon off a separate lane for the faster runners on their second leg. Or just get us slower lot started a bit earlier, as there was a lot of hanging around at the start, without much of an idea what was going on. We didn’t get much of a chance to check out the food and tents after the race, because the rain – which had luckily held out for the duration of the run – started coming down, and we were getting cold. We did manage to get the free glass of Prosecco though. Obviously.

I’ll definitely do this race again next year – it’s practically in my backyard, after all – and Nat and I are already checking out ParkRuns and future 10ks. Ladies and Gentlemen, I think we have a runner.

Today’s quote is from John Bingham – a marathon runner and writer.

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