A MoRun has been on my running to-do list for a while, as they’ve always looked like pretty fun events, so it was on a FREEZING cold November morning, that I found myself at Milton Keynes’ Willen Lake, along with hundreds of other runners, ready to don fake ‘taches and MoRunning headbands and tackle two laps of the 5k course.
As this was exactly a week after Rockingham, I had no real aim time-wise, leading up to the event. However, on the day I woke up feeling strong, so decided to ‘go for it’. Not a PB – I knew there were too many hills for that – but to give it a decent crack.
When we arrived, it was clear what a popular event this was, and how much fun it was going to be. It was a cracking atmosphere, with lots of runners in fancy dress, a fun military-style warm up and everyone seeming to be in a really good mood, despite the freezing temperature.
After a long queue for the portaloos, where we tried to keep warm with some bouncing on the spot, and Jodie tried in vain to keep her new trainers clean in the copious amounts of mud, we made it to the start line. Looking back, I should have made an effort to start closer to the front (my elbows are pretty good at jostling through crowds, amongst other talents…) as we started way back in the pack and it was a very narrow first few hundred metres, so it took a fair while to reach some clear running. I knew at this point that a fast time wouldn’t happen, so decided to just enjoy it and see what my legs could do.
There were a few hills and undulations on the route, including the infamous zigzags which I’ve encountered before during Parkrun (and hated!) and I was extremely pleasantly surprised to find that I felt strong on all of them. I’ve been running more hilly routes lately and it’s definitely been paying off! Overtaking strong-looking male runners on hills was definitely a highlight. Not that I’m competitive or anything. Ahem.
It was lovely to see the friendly atmosphere carrying on into the run itself; from the shouts of ‘ice!’ to warn others of the icy patches we encountered, to the encouragement shown to fellow runners, and the lady I saw running alongside a runner she didn’t know and helping her breathe through a stitch, it showcased all that is great about the running community.
What wasn’t so lovely, was to find that – as at Rockingham – the 4k point again marked a real mental battle to carry on. The 10k runners had to cross the finish line and run another lap, and I was seriously contemplating just stopping at 5k. I need to figure out why this always seems to happen at 4k, as by the time I got to 6k I was fine again and knew I would make it to the end. I’m sure it’s a mental thing more than physical, but certainly something I need to work on.
And make it to the end, I did. At around 8k, Jodie caught up with me and we decided to run the finish together and try to get a decent finish line photograph of the two of us. We run together a lot, and she is my number one running buddy, yet there is a serious lack of running photos of us! Perhaps we need to hire somebody to run with us and photograph our runs… So, we crossed the finish line together in a time of 55:45 and were 46th & 47th out of 367 female runners which was pretty good going, all things considered.
The thing that struck me most was what a well organised event this was. I received a text seconds after crossing the finish line with my chip time, which was a great touch and the official photographs were online quickly (although no finish line photo of me and Jodie. Sad face). The medal is probably my favourite so far, and all of the marshals did such a great job in horrid weather.
So, thank you MoRunning, I will most certainly be back next year!