Fundraising and races to date

After joining the South Leeds Sisters, I was introduced to a lovely lady named Denise. I had met her briefly at Hunslet Hawks and I knew her husband, Gary. She had entry forms for reduced entry into the Jane Tomlinson Leeds 10K through her work with The Stroke Association. I thought that this would be a good target to keep me running.

The race was held on July 20th 2014. It was a scorching hot day, I had an injured ankle and was in shock following some very sad news. I seriously considered dropping out but then I thought of all the money I had raised for the Stroke Association.

In a moment of madness I also promised that if I made it past my target I would run with purple hair (thanks to Ken for the donation that tipped it over). I had an unsuccessful attempt at using a temporary dye and had to resort to hairspray. I looked ridiculous ! After the race my hair looked white.

leeds 10k 2014


I ran alongside my fabulous friend, Hannah. It was hard and we were hot and sweaty. There were numerous points where I thought that I was actually dying. But I made it, 5 seconds faster than my predicted time.

leeds 10k 2014 finish

Special thanks must go to my Dad for providing frozen bottles of water. Genius !

And also to the fab physio Ryan, who taped my ankle and advised me not to run. I think he probably knew I would do it though.

After that race I had a long rest to allow my injury to heal.

My next race was the first East Leeds 10K, held in the beautiful surroundings of St Aidens nature reserve. I am planning to do this one again, it was relatively easy and the surroundings made it even better. We retired to the pub after to aid our recovery. This was the first time that I ran a race with the Lakers and didn’t really know what to expect. It was a very pleasant experience.

east leeds 10kMe with Hannah and Claire.east leeds 10k beerA well deserved pint (next time I’m getting a lift and having beer)

east leeds ambulancefortunately, I didn’t need it.

All too soon, it was July and Jane Tomlinson time again. This time I was injury free, I completed it in 1:16:05, a massive 13 minutes and 50 seconds faster than the year before. This one was held on 12th July, not too long ago I would have been planning a drunken weekend to celebrate my birthday. Instead I had afternoon tea, not one single alcoholic drink ! This year it’s even closer, it’s the day after my birthday and yes, I’m planning another sober one !

leeds 10k 2015Leeds 10k 2015

lakers 10kLakers and Hawks at Leeds 10k 2015sober birthdaySober birthday party (yes, really).

I ran the 2015 race in aid of The British Heart Foundation. After that, I decided to give myself a bit of a challenge. I had expressed an interest in a few races towards the end of 2015 and Simon jokingly suggested that I do one a month. So I decided to do just that, 12 races in 12 months was born. I’m running this one for The Leeds Children’s Hospital.

I started with Kirkstall Abbey 7 quickly followed by Sheffield Ten10Ten. Both of these were partially off road and particularly challenging. I didn’t match my 2015 Leeds 10K time but I was still well under my 2014 time. The hill in the Sheffield run was hell, even worse the second time around. At the time of writing, the entries for this are about to be released. Will I do it ?
sheffield 10Sheffield Ten10Ten, the tiara stayed in place for the whole race. Amazing what you can get in the pound shop.kirkstall 7 prePre Kirkstall 7kirkstall 7 finishKirkstall 7 finish line

Unfortunately, I had to drop out of the Abbey Dash due to illness but I joined in with my camera.

My last race for 2015 was the Leeds Christmas 10K challenge. A hike up Scrooge Hill followed by a few laps of Miggy Woods put me right off trail running. I stupidly registered twice and had to choose between numbers 43 and 44, obviously I chose 43.

christmas finishNearly at the finish line, Leeds Christmas 10k 10k

Slightly less than a month later, I was faced with my longest race yet. Temple Newsam 10, 10 miles not kilometres ! Off road ! After the Christmas run I was wondering what I had let myself in for. Fortunately, one of the lovely Lakers, Steve Woods, agreed to run with me, much slower than his usual pace. It was wet and muddy and long, very very long. At one point my knee was so painful I wanted to cry. Steve came up with the ingenious idea of using my buff as a strap, fantastic. Right at the end, there was another steep hill. What is it with these races and their bloody hills ? I did it and to my complete surprise, I enjoyed it. Again, I was number 43, my new lucky number.

temple newsam 10 puddle temple 10Thanks to Steve for the company.

February saw me running another off road, aptly named Muddy Boots in Ripon. This time I was accompanied by Sam Deardon and Yaz Mahmood. The start was certainly not muddy, we were a bit disappointed but that didn’t last for long. I think we all nearly lost our trainers in the mud a few times, the phrase “my trainer is getting sucked off” was funny the first few times. The goody bag at the end was pretty good, Yorkshire teabags and Wensleydale cheese.

muddy bootsWith Sam and Yaz at Muddy bootsmuddy boots goodiesBest goodie bag to date

March was the Sport Relief Mile, I ran it 6 times, 6 times around Hyde Park in Leeds with a hangover. Not my best run ever, thanks to Ian for running an extra 2 laps to keep me going. Also to Duncan for cheering me on and taking some fab pics.

sport relief sport relief preIan, my ever present running shadow.

That’s it so far, 6 down, 6 to go.

I have the next 5 booked. I am running 10 miles on 17th April, 10k on 24th April, 10k on 2nd May and the biggy, Leeds Half Marathon on 8th May. Thankfully, I am going on holiday for a week on 9th May ! Although, I am planning to do Port Rush parkrun on the following Saturday.

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