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Race for the Prize

Signs your running event may be in Scotland:

  1. It’s raining so hard that worms have been washed up from underground.
  2. There’s a burger van.
  3. The chick beside you at the starting line is eating a burger from said van AND smoking a fag at the same time.

So I had returned to the scene of the crime. That is, the crime of Falling On My Arse Repeatedly. Do you recall my disasterous descent from Arthurs Seat last January?

Yesterday’s race was at Holyrood Park, which winds it way around the bottom of the Seat. And like that fateful day conditions were wet and slippery, so it was a toss up whether I would collapse first from exhaustion or clumsiness.

The Race for Life had a cracking atmosphere. 7000 women jumped around in the rain waiting for the race to start while puzzled dog walkers looked down at us from the hills. It was an interesting crowd of all ages, shapes and sizes. Some folk had little pink signs on their backs with the names of loved ones they’d lost. Some folk were in fancy costume. Some were just content to gulp down their pre-race cigarette and let the irony of smoking at a cancer charity event waft over their head.

I ended up starting with the Walkers, due to an existential crisis in which I didn’t think I was Runny enough to be with the Runners. My number 56 was stapled to my t-shirt since there was not a safety pin to be found in our house. Who the hell has safety pins? My mum, my granny, my supremely organised sister; they would have had safety pins. It took Gareth and I around half an hour to attach the stupid number without getting it crooked and/or piercing my boobs but I was happy with the end result. They say safety pins are punk rock but STAPLES are more rock than rock itself, I do declare.

The race began with intense confusion and claustrophobia as I wove my way through the blur of legs and arms and tiny shorts and puddles, only to be confronted with the Hills of Evil. I grumbled and swore my way upward in a slow and painful manner, hating every damn second.

Finally the course evened out and soon I’d reached the halfway point. And then something clicked in my brain and I began to run like the wind. Okay, maybe not like the wind. Maybe like a very faint breeze that briefly tickles your nose. But it felt like the wind to me.

The second half felt so smooth and calm and dare I say… enjoyable. I tuned out the crowd and heard nothing but the steady thump thump thump of my ill-fitting shoes.

I know this was Only A 5k, I know it was Just A Charity Event but I can’t begin to tell you what a big deal this was for me and how buzzed I still feel. I tried to disguise my anxiety with jokes in the last entry but I had invested a lot of time and emotional shit into this whole running palaver. Some day I will tell you about how different things used to be, how a few years ago I would have told you I’d eat a bucket of gravel before I’d ever run five kilometres.

I must have looked like an idiot, charging for the finish line in a late burst of speed, my red-blotched mascara-streaked (what possessed me to wear mascara?) face suddenly breaking into a huge, dopey grin. I beat my previous personal best time by almost three minutes.

I was so elated and overwhelmed that my first immediate reaction was to cry. Except all I couldn’t because my second immediate action was to try to catch my breath, so my lungs were confused and all I could do was make these strange strangled chicken noises.

Only when I found Gareth in the crowd did I finally have a wee sob and he was kind enough to just give me a hug and look slightly bewildered.

I guess all I can say is that there is no greater thrill than doing something that you never believed you could be capable of doing.

Thank you to everyone who sponsored me. You not only helped me reached my fundraising target but actually doubled it. This will make the folks at Cancer Research UK very happy. You guys rule the school!

aww!
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About Shauna Reid

Ahoy there! I’m an author, copywriter and old school blogger. I love telling stories about life and helping my clients to tell theirs. Find out more about me and how we can work together.


24 thoughts on “Race for the Prize

  1. Staples RAWK! I bet all the other runners stared envious daggers at your back as you whistled on by.

    I am inspired Shauny, I might even walk to the chip stand at lunch rather than get my workmate to pick them up for me. ;0)

  2. A Poem For Shauny:

    You Ran a Long Way,
    Rather More Quickly Than Many Could,
    You Doubled Your Fundraising Target,
    We’re All Very Proud of You,
    Hangon Aren’t Poems Supposed to Rhyme, Or At Least Not Be Shite?

    love bjb

  3. Way to go!!!!

    I didn’t bring pins with me to my first race, and I had to put my number in my pocket!! MY POCKET!!!! It was my first run, I would have worn it on my head with tape if I had some.

  4. Congratulations! Don’t belittle what you’ve done. You accomplished something you used to believe you weren’t able to do. That’s inspiring.

  5. You Rock Killer – well done. I tells ya, there will be a time when you think 5k? For what a warm up? Or 5k, what in about 25 minutes?
    Get used to the feeling of accomplishing things and getting stuff done, its horrendously addictive.
    In recovery I have waaaay to much time on my hands so post frequently…

  6. mwahahaha! get some chips for me while you’re there, jebus!

    i do have proper running shoes hanita! it’s just that they’ve turned out to be not quite right for me. i bought them in a great hurry coz at the time i was all intimidated by the Proper Running Shop. i am going back on Friday for some new ones…

  7. AWWWWWWWW. I remember that second half of the race feeling, when everything comes together. What a lovely way to spend a Sunday. Congratulations to you, you do RAWK!!!

  8. yourockyourockyourock.

    Sounds like it was worth all the time and emotional shit!

    But you and that mascara, eh? Didn’t you have mascara-related troubles on your wedding day as well? 🙂

  9. Hi Shauny, first time commenter, long time reader…

    Congratulations, on your race! I’m surprised they didn’t have safety pins for you; that’s one of the race organizer’s key fuctions! And then once you’ve run a few more of these things, you have safety pins everywhere you look in your house until you can’t escape them, then you start bringing then to races to donate.

    Anyway, I’m totally with you on the emotion thing; I’ve cried at more races, especially the cancer fundraisers.

    Again, great job!

  10. Magnificent work, shauny! One day I hope to be able to conquer the 1km walk to my local train station, and I shall use you as inspiration. “I think I can, I think I can”!

  11. You are a frickin’ legend Shauna! You’ve just run 5kms more than I run in a month. Oh wait, sometimes I run for the bus….so maybe 4.9kms more than I run in a month. CONGRATULATIONS!!!

  12. Wow – really impressed. I’m doing the ‘Race for Life’ next month. Only trouble is I’m running with some cousins who run every day. Have to say I’m absolutely terrified. Currently keeling over at the 3.5km mark. Eeek.

  13. this actually happened to me IN scotland! ive never been able to walk or hike or run for very long, but i hiked all the way up arthur’s seat. it was incredible.

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