February- Eastbourne Half Marathon
April- Energizer Night Run
May- She Runs Windsor, We Own the Night, Edinburgh 10K, Bupa 10,000m
June- Race for Life, Zest 10K Challenge
July- National Lottery Run 5 miler, The Colour Run
September- Women’s Running 10K, London Duathlon
October- Royal Parks Half, Kingston Run Challenge, Wholefoods Richmond Park 15K
November- New York City Marathon, Brooks Brighton 10K
The Favourite One
Hands down my favourite race of the year was the New York City Marathon. I felt completely prepared and ready to run this race, knowing that I had worked extremely hard to get to the start line and was raring to go. I took the time to enjoy the course, take in the sights and tried to chat to other runners. It’s such a huge race, with the most incredible atmosphere. I felt close to tears for most of the 26.2 miles, feeling overcome by emotion. It was amazing having my parents, Tom and his parents cheering me on from the sidelines, as well as knowing that Zoe and Darren were in the throng of runners too. Not to mention getting to meet Gia and Theodora whose blogs I’ve read for a while. I’ve already entered the ballot for next years race… just in case. If you want to sign up for the 2014 race check out www.209events.com
The PB One
This should also be the NYCM- with a 45 minute PB it was the biggest improved margin by far, however another massive PB for me was my Half Marathon time during the Royal Parks Half Marathon. I ran on feel that day, when all of my technology failed me. Without any clue as to pace, I got in front of the 2 hour pace group and just ran. It felt brilliant, until the last few miles where I had agonising cramps. I only discovered my finishing time with the official text, 1.52- 14 minutes faster than my previous half marathon record. The weather, crowds and course was fantastic, and it’s a race I hope to do time and time again. It was a PB day all round, with Leah earning herself a shiny new one, and Amanda finishing her first half!
The Worst One
Running 22 miles of a 24 mile race in the pouring rain, 3 loops of residential Kingston- probably one of the toughest mental races ever. I used it as a complete practise for the NYCM, fuelling ever 5 miles. Bridget Jones new audio book, as well as some friendly faces at the end got me through this rough race. Knowing I’d made it through such a horrid 22 miles increased my confidence for marathon race day. The Brooks Brighton 10K is also a contender for this one, due to an almighty hangover-whoops.
The Fun One
What’s more fun than running with a group of friends dressed as elves? Certainly not my fastest 10K, but so much fun running with a group of girls, most of whom I didn’t even know a year ago, who I am lucky to call friends. I hope next year includes even more fun runs with friends- Parkrun anyone?
The Messy One
I’m not sure if this really counts as a race as there was no timer and no medal, just a lot of paint! Despite The Colour Run being a little overpriced, and hosted on one of the hottest days of the year, this ‘race’ was hilarious and one I’d definitely sign up to do again. A close second was the Zest 10K Challenge where a group of us got covered in mud, water and bubbles!
The Memorable One
The National Lottery 5 Miler was memorable as it was Tom’s first race, and our first race together. Plus, we got to run around the Olympic track!!! The rest of the course wasn’t amazing, but crossing the same finish line that Mo Farah, Usain Bolt and Jessica Ennis crossed to win Gold medals in August 2012 was insane! Plus although I didn’t run with Tom, I loved cheering him on and getting to share something I love so much with him.
What are the races that defined your 2013? What ones will you not do again and which do you wish you could make an annual occurrence?