Tuesday, 19 September 2017

The Big Day

Today we run and we live the Intersport Run Reigate on Vicky´s Brooks Transcend. Our ambassador in the race Vicky Maher, who is recovering an injury, tell us kilometre by kilometre her experiences in her 10K. Thank you Vicky for your collaboration in this month. We are really proud of your job as our ambassador and we have enjoyed a lot with your stories!

"I was nervous. My physio signed me off Thursday as better which was encouraging but I have to keep up the exercises. The weather turned colder this week and I started sniffling. I knew I couldn't afford a cold and dosed myself daily with vitamins to try and get to Sunday. Saturday night wasn't a great nights sleep due to some unkind soul playing music till 2:30 am but I got enough to be raring to go this morning and abandoned my ideas of healthy porridge for a bacon and fried egg sandwich. Two cups of tea and I was set. I walked up to the park passing all the people setting up cones and deploying marshalls and arrived in the park just in time for the announcement that the holding pens were open. The weather was overcast and far cooler than my run of 2 years prior, perfect running conditions!

I am not sure what happened to the warm up but we were ushered past the stage where I caught a glimpse of the lovely Dame Kelly Holmes before waiting for the off. And off we went. I am not good at being slowed during the start of runs and like to find my pace quickly but I jogged along with everyone else until things thinned out. I quickly spotted some friendly faces marshalling and watching on the hill and remembered why I love Intersport Run Reigate, the atmosphere is fabulous! 1km in already and I my garmin recorded 6:04 Not a great start as I like to go off well under 6 min but hardly surprising given the crowd and the hill!

Vicky Maher takes a selfie after running her 10K.

2nd km, now this is more like it, a lovely long downhill stretch. My Garmin buzzed to record at 5:03, much more like it! 3rd km and more friendly faces, still a lovely gentle downhill slope and 5:32. Beginning to feel the push now though, have I gone off to fast? Can I keep this up? Don't forget that hill at the end!  Ooh mummy's house and there she is, quick wave and shout feeling very red in the face and we turn the bottom of the course and start heading back up the A217.

The 4km mark passes in a blur, I don't notice the Garmim buzz because I have water, then my house with my family taking pics and then the lovely St Catherines Hospice people handing out sweets... Mmmm jelly heart! That's enough to have me very happy turning onto the country roads at the 5km mark for the most enjoyable stretch of the race. Trying at this point not to do mental calculations about how much time O can afford to lose on THAT hill. (Losing time will be inevitable!) I love running where it's green and having closed roads means I can enjoy it safely. I'm in my stride now, my legs are doing their own thing and all I have to do it keep my head and my rhythm and hit 6km (5:53) and 7km (5:58). Shoutout here to Reigate Grammar who were on water stations. I had the pleasure of joining them in year one and we had a blast. Their encouragement again this year was epic.

Vicky during the Intersport Run Reigate (Sussex Sport Photography).

Oh no the hill is coming but it's okay, more friends! Simply Sports running club leader Steve (dad to gorgeous boys in my girls school years) runs out to give me a hug and then friends on Park Lane to take my mind off what's coming, I am at 8km and my watch is reading 47 minutes.... I actually do a double take, I could conceivably get a good time if only I don't lose too much time. I am proud of myself, I have run the whole way to this point and I have achieved my goals of enjoying myself and of thanking every Marshall who claps or shouts encouragement to the runners.

I start the hill and am determined to "just keep swimming" which goes well until I hit the very steepest part. I did slow to a brief walk as did everyone around me but there was no stopping me now. I thanked a lady who told her friend "that's the worst bit over" as she passed me and she gave me a big grin. I put everything I had into the run down toward the park at which point Dame Kelly Holmes who I am since told started AFTER the 1/2 marathoners over took us all and ran into the park.
Vicky with the Simply Sports team.

I pushed as hard as I could to the cheering of the Priory Park crowds, with no hope of spotting anyone I may know amongst them, aware that this could be make or break for a time I could be proud of and came across the line at an astounding 59:43.

Chuffed to pieces as my Garmin reported my sub an hour target pre injury had been achieved. My Results Base time then arrived very quickly via text to confirm what I could hardly believe.

I met up with my family and went to see the Simply Sports and Brooks folks and had a pic taken with the Simply Sports team.

Could not be happier. If it hadn't been for Simply Sports I may never have run today as I was feeling damaged and incapable of doing the run justice so thank you so much guys. You gave me a reason to run and now I wouldn't have missed it for the world".

(by Vicky Maher)

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