Thank you for my award for Overcoming Adversity, and as Joanne and Andie said, ‘smiling through it’.
We all struggle at times, and running with this group helps us in many different ways, sometimes making those pains and difficulties more manageable. Moreover, pushing ourselves, making those first steps that become miles, change the way we feel. For some the most significant step is joining a new group of strangers, for others entering their first race. For me, just turning up for training has been a challenge.
The past year has been a struggle with so much sadness and grief, yet there have also been moments of joy. As some of you know, in April we lost our dad to cancer, and then in September our brother suddenly died after suffering from a rare auto-immune disease. Our mother was diagnosed with cancer in August, and is undergoing chemotherapy at the moment. She is one of the strongest and determined people I know, but a Christmas cold has really knocked her back and put a hold on treatment. We hope she can overcome this setback and enjoy her life for a while longer.
Running helps me keep moving forward especially when my mind is stuck going round and round. You guys encourage me, take me away from my world for a while, listen to my sadness and help me look forward. During the summer I found it so hard when I couldn’t run due to injury. Running helps me process my thoughts and importantly connects me to the members of our club. I need that connection.
Thank you for thinking of me and giving me this award sponsored by Chrissie Woodhouse, mother of Jack Edwards who died at such a young age. I am inspired by her courage to keep moving forward and doing what she can for others. Although the next year is not going to be easy, I too am moving forward and feeling ready for new challenges ahead. CMRC thank you!
The stream of traffic travelling along B4202 and the red hoodies stood waiting for a lift along the way showed that CMRC meant business at Worcester.
It was a dry day, no clouds on the horizon for the red army.
Lisa G & I were there in a support role, which involved holding numerous articles of clothing, plenty of clapping/ cheering and a lovely cup of coffee from Maccies.
What a fantastic turn out from the club with a mixture of runners in both the 10k & half marathon, some running these distances for the first time.
There were some amazing performances and loads of fantastic photos along the way.
My two most memorable parts of the day would have to be Ann arriving on the bridge in her own innovative style to complete her first half marathon. Followed closely by the Steve Cram selfie with Jo photo bombing.
I think that as a club we showed a tremendous team spirit which was commented on by several people that I spoke to that day. The welcoming committee on the bridge and cheering the last runners over the line is a true testament to what a lovely club we are.
Before I joined the CMRC, I would participate in one or two races a year by myself. With a goal ahead of me, I would run at least once a week – but often not more. I like a challenge, but I used to run within my comfort zone – which used to be a half-marathon once a year.
This regime would stop me getting lazy, help maintain my aerobic fitness and usually keep me sane. I tend to think, process, and put my own world to rights while running. As a member of a team for dragon boat racing and outrigger canoeing, I didn’t need any more schedules and commitments. Therefore, I enjoyed the freedom that running gave me and invariably went out alone. However, for racing that is not so much fun.
Since joining the club, racing has become a whole different animal. Not only do I train, I have improved my technique, received lots of encouragement and made great new friends. I cannot emphasize enough the benefits of chatting while training and racing.
I joined the club after meeting some of the members at the Wyre Forest Park Run – you seemed a friendly bunch. And after living overseas for 25 years was eager to make new friends with similar interests.
You guys like to race, improve, challenge yourselves and race some more.
And I am hooked.
In October 2016 I did my first UK race, a hilly 10K with Donna. We were both nervous; it was Donna’s first race and we did not know what to expect from the Sheepswalk Shocker. The course undulated up and down some narrow lanes and and across fields. We walked a bit, probably more than we needed, saving ourselves for the ‘shock’. But I think we were surprised when we came close to the end - it hadn’t killed us, and we could have gone harder. It was good running together; at times we both found it hard, but quietly kept going, not wanting to let the other down. I loved the experience and the medal is my favourite so far.
In the following months I continued training once a week on Tuesdays in Cleobury with the club, and sometimes would join the 5km Park Run at the Wyre Forest. I like a challenge, and this is tough terrain. I am surprised how different you can feel on different days running over the same course. I am not a fast runner, but at some point, I would like to do this Park Run under 30 minutes. I think the closest I have been is 30:10. However, often I am closer to 31 or 32. One thing I have noticed is that the hills have got easier, well not exactly easier, but I can run up them with more vigor! Training with the club really does help.
How Hard Can It Be Events is an apt name for the organizers of the Sunrise to Sunset Challenge. I was a very late entry for the post Christmas event which takes place at the Shrewsbury Cycle Track. It’s an unusal race in that each runner decides for themselves how far to run. Each lap is a kilometre and you have a card punched on every lap. Then you ring a bell when you have run your race and your time is recorded. I hadn’t trained for a long run, and the furthest I had run in the previous year was only 11k. However, as you can take your time and we had all day I thought I might run 21 – a half marathon. The day started with a heavy frost and it was still dark when we arrived. We quickly set up our table with drinks and a variety of Christmas snacks. Some of the team were hoping for long distances, others less, but several pushing themselves to run the furthest they ever had. Once I got going, I settled into a steady rhythm. I was able to chat with some our group as well as many of the other participants. My main problem was the cold especially in my fingers. Even with borrowed gloves it took hours for them to thaw. Luckily feet were ok. As I got close to the 20k mark, I thought maybe I could go further. I had never run more than 21k before and was tempted to try. This race is a really good oportunity to challenge yourself without any pressure. After 30k I quietly thought to myself that I would like to run a marathon. I had always admired my friends who had faced and conquered that particular challenge. I never believed I, or my legs, would manage it, but on that day, I did. It felt good - really good. So good after a quick photo, I kept on running to make it to a round 50. (Although later I relised I had 51 hole punches on my card!) I don’t remember my time, but I will never forget the exhilaration of completing my first marathon, and ultra.
Sallie Shaw (member since August 2016)