On June 23, 2002 I walked in the Race for Life to raise money for Cancer Research UK.
Thanks to family & friends I managed to raise £100 for Cancer Research UK. There were nearly 4,000 of us to do the Race for Life in Enfield that day and it was a beautiful day. There were girls and women of all ages and shapes walking along with me.
The walk was 5km long (or 3miles) through Trent Park. We went through the woods along a nice little path. I didn't see any wildlife except for a pond with a family of geese. At one point there was a clearing and I saw a monument which was a spitting image of the George Washing Monument except a lot smaller (of course). A good portion of the path in the woods was fairly muddy so we all just tip-toed through that so we wouldn't slip up and fall down. The path was wide enough to walk 4-5 people across and we seemed to travel in clumps of about 50 people. So it was a bit crowded but fun talking to new people.
A couple of months before the walk I started 'training' for it at the gym. I'd get on the treadmill and walk 1.5km and then 2km. I managed to walk 3.5km in one go. On the day though I had to pull 5km out of my hat of tricks. After I passed the 4km marker, I was really starting to struggle and wanted to just stop for a bit and rest. However, I did *not* want to be the last person through the finish line. So I just kept pushing myself to finish it and get it over with.
Mark met up with me at the 22nd check point which was about 200m before the finish line (RFL is for women only, so he couldn't do it with me). We both had our walkie-talkies on us and we'd chat during the walk. I'd tell him when I got to another marker and he'd keep telling me that I could do it, to keep going, he was proud of me, etc. I was hoping to get a bit of a tan on my arms during the walk but as we were in the woods it was shady except for breaks in the trees where the sun peeked through. Mark however got a bit burned on his face while waiting for me.
As I came 'round the last turn and saw the Finish Line banner, I made a run for it. It was nice having the family and friends of other people lined up on the sidelines cheering us all on. Mark was behind me taking photos (obviously) and giving me more words of encouragement. According to Mark and his watch, I walked the 5km in 1hr and 10mins. Which as far as I'm concerned is pretty damned good. At the gym I averaged 1km in 12mins, so I did the whole 5km walk with just 10 extra minutes. After I made it through the Finish Line, I got my Race for Life medal and a goodie bag filled with coupons and healthy snacks. Mark then proceeded to get me some lunch from the snack truck as I parked my ass under a big shady tree to rest and relax before heading home.
Surprisingly, my feet and legs didn't hurt. My ankle was killing me and I was out of breath, but I was fine. Once I slowed down and took a minute, I caught my breath and was walking and talking like normal. Training for it and losing 10lbs before hand definately helped. I am looking forward to do it again next year and getting up some friends to join me.
(Funny enough, the runner who won the race was also named Tara)