Greetings, readers! I’m popping in to let you know that I have successfully completed the 7th race of the LauranDoes179 Challenge which is part of the larger TeamDrea Challenge raising money in 2015 for the Blazeman Foundation for ALS research!
Mikey, Georgie, and I piled in the car at zero dark thirty this morning and headed over to Glasgow, passing through some pretty fierce rain on the way. The rain was still going strong when we arrived at Bellahouston Park in South Glasgow which served as the start and finish area. I sat in the car and grumbled for a while but I eventually pulled myself together and got out of the car and made my way to the chutes. The silver lining to all the pre-race precipitation is that, despite this being a women’s event, there were no lines for the port-a-loos. Amazing.
Post potty, I found my chute and, lo and behold, it stopped raining and the sun came out (see photo above for proof). The big group warmup was done to the Vengaboys which was pretty spectacular and you could practically see the estrogen in the air as 7,000 women sang along and agreed that, indeed, the Vengabus was coming.
At 10am we were underway and I actually remembered to start my stopwatch. The course was flat for the first 6k, then a few hilly bits through 6-8k, and flat all the way home. The support along the route was awesome and there was a piper at every kilometre to keep people motivated.
I felt really good along the route. I have been training a lot and am feeling like I am finally making up some ground given I essentially didn’t train during February due to illness. I finished today in 54:22 which left me in 665th place out of about 7,000 ladies. I’m pleased with that BUT the best thing was finishing and finding three (THREE!!) packs of curry flavoured insta-noodles in my goody bag! Score!
On a serious note, I ran today’s race as strongly and as bravely as I could for a lady I never got the chance to meet – Lisa McMillen, a friend of Andrea’s who lost her fight with ALS on Friday. So many other women at today’s race ran for others as well. There were hundreds of ladies with names and tributes on their shirts or written on their skin – and many more had names in their hearts I am sure. I tried to remember as many names as I could as I saw them on the course and hold them tightly in my heart – Alex, Jim, Mick, Emma, Diane, Bob, Ben, Annie, Mum, Dad, Mimi, and on and on. So much hardship, so much sadness and disease, and so much to shake one’s fist at in rage and despair. But we didn’t rage and despair today. We ran. Such a simple act, really, putting one foot in front of the other- some people might even say it is a silly thing to do in the face of all this tragedy. But today I didn’t see silly. I saw love and hope and unrelenting determination to make things better. And it was beautiful.
If you’d like to donate to help make things change for the ALS patients of today and tomorrow, please follow the link below or head up to the top of the page and click on the ‘donate’ button. I’d be eternally grateful. www.active.com/donate/teamblazeman/laurandoes179
Anyways, that’s enough from me for the moment. I’m 49.83 miles into my challenge now….129.17 miles to go! Next race is a hilly half marathon on the incredibly beautiful Isle of Skye way up off the West cost of Scotland on the 12th of June! Just a a few more shots from today….enjoy!