656.34 – 666.46KM: The Number of the Beast (Grimsthorpe Castle 10K)

August 26, 2013

I suppose it was obvious after the past week from hell that after crossing the finish line on one of the toughest 10k races so far this year that my total would stand at 666kms (and 340 meters). That the event took place at GRIMsthorpe and came after a week of sacrificing goats to any and all gods in exchange for a break from the seemingly endless barrage of bad news with Jenny’s health, is just a happy coincidence.

First things first, and to put my serious head on for a moment, I’m pleased to say that Jenny isn’t showing any signs of lasting damage from the events of Tuesday night. Obviously we’re both still very much shaken up by the ordeal, but that will pass with time. We’re still waiting for an appointment with the TIA clinic which should hopefully give us some answers as to what actually happened, why it happened and what can be done to prevent it.

One thing to note that I didn’t realise that until after the event on Tuesday, was that the first time the idea that she was suffering a (mini) Stroke on Tuesday entered Jenny’s mind was when she glanced at the doctor’s notes in the hospital, after she had recovered. I had done the frantic ‘googling’ behind Jenny’s back and phoned for the Ambulance from outside the room, the paramedics also were talking in code when they were here, but I was still surprised to hear that Jenny was unaware of potential how serious it was.

Back to today’s race, the Grimsthorpe 10K was part of a whole host of events in the Grimsthorpe Festival, including Free Hugs. Yup, that was listed as an ‘attraction’ on their website. Props to them though, I’m fed up with having to pay for hugs and if the past week went any worse I would have probably been hunting them down.

Being my 32nd race of the year so far, its no surprise that it was yet another first time race. Going into the race I wasn’t able to/didn’t try to find out much about the race, so I had no idea what to expect from the course at all. I guess it could be best summed up by what I overheard another runner say at the finish, “There’s a Grimsthorpe PB and then your normal PB.”. Much of the course seemed to be across undulating fields, with foot high grass making for a very challenging race. When it came to these sections I naturally slowed my pace, partly because the course dictated I did but also because I was being overly cautious. With two 10 mile races on Saturday and another ~340km to run this year I need to be avoiding injuries when I can help it.

The rest of the course was on path, which allowed for a bit of a rest from the grassy sections, but also meant I could try and pick the pace up on these sections. Thankfully my body wasn’t as angry with me on today’s race as it was last Tuesday’s, so despite the challenging course I was able to be pushing for a faster time. Whilst having a race start and finish in the same place is great logistically, if the start involves a frantic scramble down a hill, trying to not roll your ankle, then the finish will be a slow slog back up. This was very much the case, as runner’s all funneled in single file towards the finish, trying to run on the most trodden down section of grass and their pace dictated by that of the runner in front.

It’s strange to think that little over a year ago I never saw myself as a charity runner, simply because I didn’t have a cause that I believed strongly enough in. Yet here I am today over halfway though running 1000km for the National Eczema Society and after my eyes were opened to the world of TIA’s last Tuesday I’m begin to take more than a passing interest in the Stroke Association.

On the 22nd of September I was planning to run the Sandringham 10K but through what can only be classed as bad planning, the Hunstanton Charity Beach Run also takes place on the same day. For an area of the country that gets at best 5 races a year, to have two of them, within 10 miles of each other I might add, on the same day is just bizarre. Thankfully, the Sandringham 10K starts at 10am and the Hunstanton Beach 10K at 1pm, meaning that it could be my third (and final) ‘two races on one day’…day. Initially I dismissed the Stroke Association’s Hunstanton Beach Run, but after Jenny’s TIA last Tuesday I thought I should include it as part of my 1000km challenge and at the same time make a small donation to the charity.

Finally I am still running my Charity Raffle, with over £400 worth of prizes and tickets only costing £1. The draw will be taking place this Saturday 31st at some point, probably after I get home from the Wold’s Tough 10 and before I leave for the Double or Quit 10 Mile race outside Nottingham. So please get your tickets sooner rather than later. For more information, visit: http://runshanerun.co.uk/raffle.

Raffle Poster

As always, please visit http://www.justgiving.com/shanes1000km and donate what you can and please share news of what I am doing with others.


Distance: 10.12km | 6.29 miles
Time: 00:47:35
Official Time: N/A
Average Pace: 04:42 min/km | 7:34 min/mi
Playlist: ReVamp
Goody Bag: Water and Sweets


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