Yesterday we all spent a gorgeous day at Heaton Park in Manchester, the sun shone (but not enough to burn us), we even had a lovely picnic, but it wasn't just your everyday visit, we were there to support my friend Sim who was running the 5k Cancer Research UK Race For Life.
All worries about where exactly to go for the start were immediately put to one side when we arrived. Apart from the fact there were signs everywhere, there were also hundreds of other people dressed in pink and all walking the same way. The organisers had set out a huge arena with a giant screen and a stage, and there were stalls for food, drinks and information. You couldn't have missed it!
You may know Sim from Simslife blog, where she runs a Weight Loss
Wednesday link up every week. She's lost almost 3 stone this year
already, and has worked incredibly hard on her personal fitness with the
Race For Life in mind, so this was a really important milestone for
her, and I'm delighted we were able to be there with her - even if she did take a photo of me with giant Scottish Power foam hand sticking out of my head!
The race start was at 11am, and was preceeded by some fun and games, and speeches from people who have personal experiences of Cancer. I have to say I found this bit quite hard, and it was hard not to think of my own friends who have been lost through Cancer over the years.
The amount of people taking part was astounding! Seeing all of those women, young people and children ready to run, dressed up and all with their own personal loved ones names on their back was really over-whelming. I'm kind of glad Sim had gone and queued up already because my partner and I had to have a bit of a sob watching them all go past us. The photo below shows around half of the people who were still queueing a full 10 minutes after the race had officially begun.
The winner came through the finish line just after half an hour, and the next few finishers were all young ladies. It was amazing to see. It was another 7 or 8 minutes before the main packs of runners were reaching the finish.
Sim finished with a time of 41 minutes and 1 second - a full 7 minutes faster than her usual training pace, and incredibly respectable. The children were all waiting at the barrier to shout her on as she came through the finish line - which made their day!
Our 2 boys and Sim's daughter Liv all had flowers for Sim when she finished - and Liv was so proud of her Mum, putting it into words in a way only a child can "you didn't come last Mummy!".
Back up the hill and play time. Our 3 made full use of the play equipment before we all tucked into a great picnic Sim had prepared for us, and then scarpered quick before they closed the roads in the park at 1.30pm for the afternoon race.
I couldn't run the Race For Life myself because I got so physically old and broken over the past 2 years, so it was awesome to be able to help someone else, and it really was no hardship to us to have Liv while Sim did the hard work.
It was such an emotional thing to be a part of, and I really do have the utmost respect to all of the people who took part. I also owe them a debt of thanks, because the money raised (including Sim's current total of £310) goes towards finding a cure for something that will touch the lives of everyone I know. Thank you all - you actually ARE amazing.