This Sunday was the perfect day for a 5km run, unfortunately the rain from the previous days made the ‘hill climb’ a little bit treacherous and totally energy sapping. But the aim was to raise much needed money to research cancer and for that I thank everybody who sponsored me.

This year I turned up at Haigh at 10.10 a.m., a full 50 minutes ahead of my arrival on the car park just 12 months earlier. All I remember from last year’s event was the air horn sounding just as I had got out of the car.

There then ensued a sprint (of roughly 1km) before I got to the start/finish line and then I was able to begin my run, but instead of being clapped off I was weaving through the onlookers as I headed off down to the Plantations catching the rest of the 150 or so runners.

It was about the 1km mark that I first caught up with the tail enders and although I had actually done nearer 2km by then I couldn’t help smiling at the faces of these people who thought they were the last ones.

I ended last year’s race not knowing what time I had done and swore that next year I would turn up on time so I could join in the buzz that exists before these events start off. And to my credit I did it, first part of plan accomplished.

I will be the first to admit that my ‘training’ was quite non-existent for the run and so the 30 minute barrier that I was hoping to break turned into 35 minutes, but at least I had a plan, albeit a sketchy one.

This year, being there early allowed the luxury of being able to mingle with the fellow runners chat with people you haven’t seen for ages and feel the tension building as the start time approached. With ten minutes to go, after the glitches with the PA system had been sorted out, a call was put out for all the runners to come down towards the start line.

There we were greeted by a fitness instructor that took us through a very embarrassing warm up routine, which seemed to shatter quite a lot of the 500 or so runners (well done to the organisers for more than doubling last year’s entrants).

We all then made our way to the front of the start line and awaited the off. Bang on 11.00 a.m. and we were running, the early parts were mostly downhill and the first 3 km went by without any dramas.

Then came the hill climb back and to confound me even more it was off the tarmaced haven that was the road and into the very slippy, very wet forest floor that suddenly reminded me of the need to train for these events.

I think I managed about two minutes trying to climb up the winding hill through the trees before my legs gave in and told me to give them a break. It was the sensible thing to do and most of the guys around were following suit.

Once out of the forest it was time to run the last 1km, still up hill, but at least is was dry and hard under the feet. Just as we came fully out of the trees, the sun hit the back of our necks and all was well again, exhaustion aside.

As I rounded the bend the finish line was in sight and this gave the extra boost of ebergy to get me home. The time was 32.02, but I was actually quite alright with that, I will endeavour to beat that 30 minutes next year.

The official figure hasn’t been announced yet, but with the help of Cockney Latic I managed to raise around £275. Thanks to everybody who sponsored me and if there any of you that haven’t done so but would like to, my just giving page will still accept donations. Click here for my sponsorship page

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