Save the date……..
There was a time when this meant there was a wedding invitation on it’s way, but now it’s all about running events and the return of mass participation events in our capital city, Cardiff – 721 days since the last event and my first experience of the new normal breathable events at Cardiff Bay 10K.
I set my alarm for 5am and woke full of dread if I’m honest, I was contemplating not going, all those people in one place but I knew I’d regret it and I was up now anyway. I was in Cardiff just after 8am and took a lovely walk through town, the sun was already shining, the streets were quiet and the bars were empty, so different from times gone by: I’d swapped the high heels for my runners.
I was meeting my friend Tanya and the She Runs Cardiff girls at the Run Wales tent. There I was greeted with a sea of purple, everyone excitedly chatting and laughing and then it was time to head to the blue pen. When I first started running, I remember Jan from Harriers telling me she’d made lots of new friends through running and never a truer word spoken! It was fab to meet Myfanwy who hosted the SRC Summer Relay that Team Dollies took part in and Sian who is running her first marathon in Newport next month and Christine who, like me, had travelled over 100 miles for this long overdue event! Social Media when it works is an absolute blessing – instead of being at the start on your own, you’ve got company.
The start experience was fab, there was music playing, supporters clapping and cheering, the Bay was buzzing and we were off, up Lloyd George Avenue and around the docks. At 4K-ish you start to see the Elite runners heading towards you, they look so amazing, heads held high and kicking their feet back behind them propelling their bodies forward to that finish line. I saw Sonia Samuels, the first lady to finish and she set a new seasons best with a finishing time of 34:37 and Alaw Benyon-Thomas, a new Welsh Champion, 35:43 both ladies were looking so strong as they passed me.
The Barrage was glorious, the sky was blue, the sun was shining and the sea was glistening, it was boiling hot by now too, but this was so worth the early start! The support from the crowd was fantastic, cheering and shouting words of encouragement and compliments on runners’ kit, it was such an amazing experience.
The Extra Milers were absolutely brilliant, the team of volunteers who looked after us runners made the experience even more special, there were thousands of participants and we were all treated like elite athletes, from words of encouragement, to handing out bottles of water, medals and t-shirts and a team of First Responders to help with the effects of the heat, trips and falls, they all looked out for us and made our day such a memorable experience, without them there definitely is no event!
The finish line was a heady mix of exhaustion, relief and joy! The Extra Milers were like stallholders of days gone by, only they were handing out t-shirts to us runners rather than selling their produce to the sailors and local residents . I was so carried away with nostalgia for the bay, I missed a tweet up, Twitter talk for a meet up, with my friend Liam, as his waving and shouting of my name, fell on deaf ears!
And one last walk around the bay before heading back to the car, I bumped into the very inspirational Kerrie Aldrige, who’d got herself a lovely shiny PB and I wished her luck for the London Marathon next weekend and off home I headed.
Tiger Bay was roaring last Sunday, who’s up for a Dolly trip next May? Pre-registration is now open for the 2022 event on Sunday May 22nd Lets add a splash of Dolly Pink down the Bay next May! 💖