All Girls Together for the Chicks Chase
by April Meadows
Wednesday 20th April 2016
As Wednesday evening dawned the nerves began to kick in as I prepared to meet my fellow runners (Kate, Susan, Kathleen and Modupe) for my first ever Chicks Chase race.
Pre race nerves are a constant companion at present but after 7 weeks of beginner’s sessions with Kate and solo runs my confidence has grown beyond belief.
As a newbie you are told constantly of the solidarity and sportsmanship between runners new and old, you take this as the cynical newbie who doesn’t dare dream of running 5km comfortably with the proverbial pinch of salt. How wrong I was….
The weather was ideal with a fresh breeze and as female runners with vests of all colours lined up the sun broke out of the clouds; we began as a collective off the start line at 18:40pm everyone focused on their 5/10km goal.
As the purple and gold clad progressed through the group I tried to remember all the kind advice I had been given when it dawned on me I was actually keeping pace with the bulk of the race and I felt exhilarated. Having had my momentary running shock I looked for my fellow Buzzards who were performing brilliantly.
Towards the 4km mark the Marshalls indicated the route split; left for the 10km and right for the 5km competitors, the end was in sight and as I began to think about winning my first ever running medal I was hit by a huge stitch all down my right side. I began to slow down and started to really struggle when a fellow runner boomed out from behind me that I was not to stop and that I was going to finish still running.
I finished in 35:04; happily I met Susan who had already finished with a time of 32:23, a real achievement.
I had never met this lady prior to the race but the sudden shock of her act of kindness pushed me on when I couldn’t do it for myself. This ‘random’ act of solidarity inspired me to finish and to shout encouragement runners who were finishing their 10km.
Susan and I cheered the rest of our group home where they had results to be proud of with Kate finishing in 54:20, Modupe in 1:09:08 and Kathleen right behind her in 1:09:15.
My fellow LB runners did exceptionally well and I am truly grateful to them all for their support and kindness at what was a thoroughly enjoyable event. To the generous, anonymous runner who got me over the finish line I hope one day I can repay the favour to you or another once cynical runner…