RN19 – race report
It was the fifth year of RN19 and its grown again, 7500 spaces up for grabs this year and they sold out fast.
On the morning of 21st July the sun was shining on Chapelfield gardens, by 8.45 the gardens were packed full of runners and our gazebo stood out like an orange beacon, giving us a brilliant meeting place amongst the crowds. The gardens were buzzing, some excited, some nervous, with the occasional whiff of deep heat permeating the air.
After, as many Jags as possible, had gathered for the group photo. It was time to head off to the start pens, the toilet queues were long, but then that’s to be expected in a race of this size and allowing some time to wait in queue, but sharing some banter with those around you, keeping an eye out for friends in the crowds, soon helped the time pass quickly.
I was in blue start and true to Run Norwich organisation, the race was underway on time, moving 6200 runners through a start line cannot be an easy task, but the organisers have ensured the start went smoothly and soon we were underway.
Prepared for a very hot run, it was pleasantly cool and breezy at half nine in the morning. After the climb towards Chapelfield gardens, it is mainly flat or downhill as you make your way onto Carrow Road. The first few kilometres sailed by, with lots of support from the crowds and Jag crews along the way. The choir singing ‘I’m still standing’ at Riverside put a smile on my face as did many of the signs and excellent marshals along the way.
The first main challenge of the race is Rose lane, yes it is steep, but not too long and once over and around the top, you can enjoy a nice downhill to recover from the climb. By now though, it was getting very warm and a few runners were starting to walk or ease off the pace.
A good flat stretch is then had, between Prince of Wales road and around the cathedral. Between kilometres 8 & 9 its tough, you are nearly there, but you turn off away from the direction of the finish, and can see runners the other side of the road, they would be a kilometre ahead of you.
They are climbing up through Tombland, and I think, that section is harder than Rose Lane, you are tired, very hot by then, and it is time to dig in and get that last kilometre done, (giving Gaynor’s son a high five at kilometre 9, if you can get near him as he had a queue of people waiting to high five him when I was there!).
Turning the corner towards Castle Meadow, was the biggest shout out from the jag support crew, it was perfect and very much needed!
Home stretch now, right turn at Debenhams (I apologise to anyone running near me, but I swore loudly, as I had forgotten about that last hill). One final climb and a sprint to the finish if your legs can handle it!
What an event, it was well organised – I hear some people were left without a goody bag, but they are being sorted, brilliantly supported and everywhere you looked there was a member of the Coltishall Jags. My first Run Norwich as a Jag and will definitely not be my last
I felt nervous as we got to the Race headquarters, This was going to be a record of how far I had come over the year ( the Humpty Dumpty 2018 was my 1st official race let alone 10K!) so I had a mixture of feelings about the race.
We got there in plenty of time, had a few hello’s with the congregating Jags and then got in the loo Q and then bag drop and suddenly there were calls for the 1st wave (I was in the last wave so knew I had time). Made my way to the starting penwhile making sure my bib number was secure and that my Jeffing sign on my back was in place, I got to my pen and got near the back. Lots of chatter and good lucks from fellow Jags and other runners and the 1st wave started and we moved forward waiting forour turn. We got to the start had a quick safety briefing and we were off. The crowds were great though the town and as we thinned out a bit I turned on my beeper, 40:20 was the ratio I had decided to Jeff to. When the 1st beep sounded I called out ‘walkbreak’ and checked behind me to make sure no one was directly behind me, there was a large group who hadn’t heard me and I nearly fell over the curb getting out of there way. Then the beep again and I could get into my race rhythm. Lots of cheering and lotsof keep going when I was on a walk Emoji butI kept focused and into the countryside we ran.
At about 1st K there was the lovely Mr T sending us up the 1st if small incline with another lovelyJag marshalling at the top sending us on the right road. It was about this time (usually the same distance most races) that the other runnersnear me notice I’m Jeffing and small conversations start as we keep passing each other (this happens towards the end of races as well) I have meet lots of runners this way, it breaks up the race and it adds to the whole experience.
Before I knew it the sign for Reedham was in front of me and then it was on into the village with extra water being offered by the marshals and shouts of encouragement from the public, I then turned onto Riverside where there was more Jag supportwhich always encourages me and lifts me up that little bit more. Then it was a left turn onto Mill Rd (the hill) which I decided because of the heat to Power Walk with a capital P as I didn’t want to zap all my energy. It was at that moment I rememberedmy ice towel so wetted it shook it and enjoyed the coolness with a quick wipe over, bliss. Onwards though the roadworks then right up Church Rd (another hill) then the lovely site of 2 Jags on bikes shouting support at the top of the hill, just where we neededit. Then it was the long slog of Halvergate Rd which always seems to have a headwind no matter what the weather!!! It was here I caught up with a fellow Jag running who was feeling the heat so Ice towel again and we set off Jeffing together for the last1.5K ish. It was lovely turning into the last Rd and hearing the crowd then seeing loads of Jags and runners cheering us down the road and then over the finish line. Medal, Water, Banana and Mars bar and a big smile, I knew I had given my all in that heat.
The result was HD 2019- 1:09:20, HD 2018- 1:21:31. So 12 mins faster than last year and an improvement in how I ran as well as my recovery. And I Loved it.
The usual great turnout of Jaguars for this series brought plenty of orange to this event! The heavy rain during the day probably put a few people off but it eased away for the start of the race, and in fact conditions were perfect for running.I have it on good authority that there is more oxygen available in the air when the weather is damp, so there were quite a few PBS on the night and some owners of orange vests going up for awards. It was a shame the junior race had to be cancelled due to thegrass track being slippery. The new car parking arrangements worked well, with a few clubs being allocated the playground at St John’s Primary on the Horning Road. All in all it was a good event with a great atmosphere, and most people seemed to come awaywith a smile on their faces!
Shared Age Group Record
YES & Bronze CC Medal
1st In Age Group & Silver CC Medal
YES First In Age Group, Gold CC Medal & New Age Group Record
YES 2nd In Age Group & Silver CC Medal
3rd In Age Group, Bronze CC Medal & New Age Group Record
GY Race 3 There was a great turnout of 40 Jaguars for the final race in the Great Yarmouth 5 mile series for 2019. Runners again had to contend with a headwind in the home straight but this did not stop twelve Jags achieving PBs including Shane Bidle for three out of three in the series, Nick Eley who achieved first place in his age group and Nicola Lambert-John who claimed second place in her age group with a new age group record. Neil Button and Elly Young also gained second places in their respective age groups with Elly improving her age group record from race 2. Yet again the great support from Jaguars around the course, a well-organised event and good marshalling led to an enjoyable race and overall a great series of races.
On Sunday 19 May, I took part in the Great Manchester Run 10km. I entered this race two years ago and wanted to take part again. I was in the orange start and the organisation was fantastic. Prior to the start, I was interviewed by the BBC who asked me various questions as to why I was there and if I was running for a charity etc. As I had been diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014, I mentioned that I had the all clear in the February and I wanted to run for all those fighting this terrible disease. I never thought it would be shown on the television on the highlights that evening.
We set off in waves and this race is the largest 10km in Europe and there were over 30,000 runners competing in the half marathon, junior races and 10km race that day.
It is a great course, going down Deansgate in the centre of Manchester, Old Trafford (passing the football club), and Bridgewater Way and Chester Road.
The entertainment was fantastic and really kept me going and had music zones, bands, choirs, musicians etc. all the way round. Besides the allocated water stops, there were two shower mists which you ran though, which was great!. The supporters were fabulous – cheering me on and shouting my name at every corner and along every road.
Although I did not achieve a PB, I did knock nearly 2 minutes off from when I did the race 2 years ago, so I was well pleased.
It is a really enjoyable race and thoroughly enjoyed it. I have even entered to compete
A good contingent of orange was present at this Sportlink Grand Prix/County Championship event. The weather was beautiful and the venue, Neatherd High School, really ideal (with plenty of ladies’ toilets!). We also had a chance to experience the Total Race Timing numbers issue system – which looks as though it is going to save a lot of hassle for us, too.
Well over 500 runners started, and we ploughed along the old A47 for almost three miles before turning off for the loop round Elsing. It was great to see Dee and Steve at the start (and later on), and Paul Emery and Emma Jordan also cycled over to cheer us on. It was so good to see them there and the support was really appreciated. The A47 stretch back to the finish seemed VERY long, but many people were rewarded with PBs, so most were happy. Fortunately it wasn’t as hot as a couple of years ago, but one or two found the end very hard going.
It was good to spend some time with Emma Blake, who also had a very good race, and there was a nice atmosphere at the awards presentation.
In summary, not my favourite route, and I would prefer an earlier start than 10:30 a.m. for a long race, but it went like clockwork and the organisers were all very friendly and helpful.’
YES & New Age Group Record
1st in Age Group, SILVER CC Medal & New Age Group record