Race for Life, Race in Cheshire
Nothing quite compares to the feeling someone experiences when they come to a realisation that they've just done something extraordinary, with enormous significance, and that is going to make a difference. Nothing, perhaps, except for when all of those things occur with the addition of a few thousand other people all doing the same thing.
The rush of self pride which flushed people's cheeks and the countless Cheshire-cat grins which stretched from ear to ear were more than apparent on Sunday as nearly 5,000 women ran, jogged or walked the 5km Race For Life at Tatton Park in aid of Cancer Research. Even before the race began the excitement sprinting through the air was overwhelming, with the sense of being part of a group this big, about to partake in an event this important, coursing through the crowd. Before the runners began, everyone joined together to take part in a group warm-up in which (from the top of the hill) we all resembled a pack of small pink ants!
Having done the Race for Life once before I was eager to have a go again, but also more determined to do as well as I possibly could as this year was more important than ever. Running the race along side my sister, mum and aunt, I was running it for my Grandpa and also for my good friend, Tom Lee - both of whom have been affected or are being affected by cancer. Having them both in mind and reading the names of the loved ones of the hundreds of women and girls who ran in front of me, it brought home the significance of the race and spurred me on as it most likely did for all the phenomenal women also running on the day. We knew what we had to do: finish the race and raise as much money as possible.
Admittedly running the 5km was by no means an easy feat, no matter what people say! Slowing down to a walk and trying to gasp whatever air wasn't being stolen by the rest of the racers, the growing urge to 'pack it in' and walk the rest of the way was tempting, but running alongside my mum somehow persuaded me to join the 'runners' groups rather than the 'joggers' groups and, again, I read the names on the signs that fellow racers had pinned on their backs, I thought of my own sign and pushed on.
Crossing the large, blue "We Did It!" marker at the end of the gruelling 5km, hand in hand with my sister and surrounded by women of all ages, made me feel more self pride than I have ever felt before. As spectators handed out pink roses to the runners and pink bottles of water, all the participants began laughing, crying and cheering at the same time, showing truly just how much the race had affected everyone there in one way or another.
No matter whether the race was ran, jogged, walked or hopped (I did witness three girls running a 3-legged-race version!) history was made in Tatton Park on Sunday, all thanks to a few pink ladies! Well done to every women and girl who took part in the race - we really made a difference!