What better day to post this blog than International Women’s Day! A post on an event called Women Run Strong!! Think about that for a second, what do those words mean to you? All the positives, the supportive environment, lacking judgement or pressure, first or last – all supported, no timing – ‘Just Run’
I hope you all had a lovely Mothers day on Sunday? Including all of you lovely ladies who may not be mothers!! I loved hearing about all the races that took place, I was over in Edinburgh for 2 reasons:
Support clients who were running Women Run Strong Edinburgh run. (As a personal trainer)
Support my sponsor Women Run Strong in their first Edinburgh run.
I arrived in Edinburgh in the safe hands of Shauna and Daniel, our key supporter!! We headed into The Crowne Plaza in Edinburgh, well, this was like no other run registration I have ever been to. Very civilised – brilliant – but also very relaxed! Avril who runs Women Run Stong has done a fantastic job of creating a community with the facebook group for those signed up to run, you get to know faces, names and whats happening with the run.
This is ideal, I know many of you will agree, it can be pretty intimidating turning up at a race event on your own. Not here, you knew faces, everyone incredibly welcoming. Not only that water, tea and the best – biscuits available to munch. You can tell I am sold already haha. Sign-up was an easy affair, we then waited on the rest of the crew to appear.
Not only that but you’ll never guess who I managed to run into – Cathy from The Art of Communication! Wonderful to be a part of her 6th event out of the 50 planned this year! Here is the epitome of ‘Women Run Strong’, I always think its nice to run into people you know at events. Not only that I got to meet people I have been communicating with on social media. I love making new friends!
I was lucky enough to meet Lucja, who has run in the Marathon des Sables previously AND is going back this year. Nice to know I’ll know someone out there. I think I picked her brains, well and truly, it was a revelation to be honest (Ill keep that for another time). We were then led down to the start line, a very short walk away at the base of Arthurs Seat.
Wow! We had an amazing day for our run, there was no pressure on this run and I already knew I wanted to push but at the same time I had been nursing a sore back all week and didnt want to cause myself any further issues. But also, I already knew I’d be stopping to take pictures along the way and wanted to talk with folks. I honestly felt sluggish in this run, quite possibly my lack of exercise all week. The views were simply – Outstanding! We could not have had a better day for todays run, the sun shone, you could see for miles, the company was fantastic – I spoke with so many women today. All different levels and experience. The marshalls were massively encouraging and really brought a smile to your face as you rocked up and either gave you a jelly baby or some water and encouraged you on your way.
Did I say the views were spectacular? Just in case you wondered . . . . so were the hilly sections hahaha! Phew, I now know why there was a massage included in your cost. We all supported each other and stomped on, after the most dramatic of hills it became more undulating but still hilly. I am not sure even I am making sense here. I spoke with a lovely lady who said that despite the fact she trained around Arthurs Seat, she had in fact not been on the trails we covered, so a real positive there. I can see this would have been a harder route in wet conditions.
A run out back to the hotel entrance, where I managed a wee sprint race with a fellow runner to finish well – always good, maybe. And the prosecco, oh the prosecco! What better way to finish the run than to be welcomed back with a glass of the bubbly stuff.
Quick sip, passed to Avril (I think she is still saving this for me 😉 )off I went back for my crew. Louise’s PT 4 U motto – ‘NO-one gets left behind’. This has been a long held motto an done I am very proud of. Everyone of the girls did well today, for some their first run, we had 2 in the 5km and 2 of us did the 10km. We did well and supported each other – the important part.
Are you getting what Women Run Strong is about? If not, why not pop over to the website or Women Run Strong facebook or even come along to one of their runs! Don’t just take my word for it, I asked my clients for some feedback, here’s what they said –
‘I’ve just completed the Women’s Run Strong 10km run in Edinburgh today. My first trail run and something I thought this time last year was beyond my physical reach. The event was beautifully organised, Avril and her team were superb from the swift registration to the jelly babies stop, the excellent marshalls and the prosecco and massage waiting at the end. It was a tough run with killer hills but the views from the top were just spectacular well worth the effort. Another stand out factor was the team spirit amongst the runners, everyone actively encouraging and supporting each other. A run I would certainly do again.’ (Pauline A)
‘Women Run Strong? Well, on Sunday I think I was only hopeful of achieving 1/3 of those!! And even then only just!!
Having initially signed up for the 10k I could have easily pulled out as training in January & February was a non event. But I didn’t! Knowing that a buff, a glass of bubbly and a massage were also signed up to, I swallowed my pride and decided I would at least venture out on the 5k – that had to be easier than the unprepared for 10k? Yes? Hmm … I’m not sure!!
For someone who likes jogging on a flat tarmac route with a strong tailwind … what greeted me was something quite different!! The words “trail” and “hill” were order of the day!!! I think “brutal” best describes what I was muttering as I WALKED slowly up the 150m steep ascent to a fabulous view across Edinburgh! Waiting for me at the top was Shauna … a huge smile on her face cheering me on! And the view was spectacular!!
We crossed the finish line together … even managing a wee sprint to the tray of bubbly!! At 6.3k it is safely the longest (and hardest) 5k I have ever run … or run a bit of anyway!!! I’m not even sure it was easier than the 10k … but I wasn’t going to test that theory out when it got to the “10k that way / 5k this way” point! With a leg massage now firmly in my sights the 5k route was the only way home for me! Once again, if it hadn’t been for Shauna, I don’t think the leg massage would have happened for me as the queue was long and the clock was ticking on me having to get back to Dundee! But it happened and I got home with minutes to spare!
Anyway, asides how brutal I felt the run was and how underprepared I was … it was a fabulous event … location, people, massage, friendly faces, give aways and doing it with a wee crew of people who really don’t leave you behind (even when you would be quite happy to be left behind to find a flat route home!).
It was genuinely a lovely morning … a very relaxed gathering of women joining together to have a good time … from walkers to hard core runners … some idiot even ran with a bright yellow 8kg back pack on and looked like she was wearing about 20 layers of clothes – I’m sure I overheard her asking where the nearest sand dune was!? You see them all at these events, you really do!’ (Nicola R – I was ggoing to cut this down but actually, it gives you context and the reality of the day).