The “don’t enter till you know the route” blog!! – Kate Clipston

The “don’t enter till you know the route” blog!! – Kate Clipston

The “don’t enter till you know the route” blog!! – Kate Clipston

It’s been just over a year since I started running with Runsmart beginners and Damian in Leyland. Having had a bit of a rocky time last May with the Manchester 10k, I gave up for a short while and came back to running in September. Starting to love it again I joined Red Rose in January mainly so my daughter Lucie could go to the juniors and so I could get cheaper races. Little did I know that my addiction would shortly follow! Jenny my running buddy, partner in crime, Tweedledum to my Tweedledee, whatever you want to call her, and believe me, we’ve been called everything, also joined and our Red Rose adventure began. Next to sign up was our good friend Nicola, who started back to running in January and wanted a club to run with. The 3 of us ran the bluebell 10k together (with Wendy) and the crazy cow. Lovely, nice, undulating but enjoyable 10k runs. So what has this to do with Fishwicks, well let me tell you.

Nicola is shall we say…impulsive. Up on her FB feed one evening came Fishwicks 5 mile, a length she could run easily and ping, she had entered. Then she decides to ask RR about the race:
‘it’s flat’ they say,
‘it’s fun’ they reply,
‘you’ll be fine’!

As the day got closer, the more worried she became. The words Grand Prix came up whilst we were running one Thursday evening and the colour drained from her face!

“Please Kate” she pleaded “you know you want to run it really, support me and run it too”.

So I checked Tweedledum was free, checked we could enter on the day and knowing that a friend needed a few friendly faces there we committed to run.

Nicola picked us up that morning and the 1st picture she showed me was one of the route! FLAT?? It looked like Staveley on speed!! This was not a good start. We arrived early…..very early due to the change in start times and after 2 trips to the loo and 20 team photos we walked to the start. I knew we were in trouble as soon as we were told to follow the flour arrows on the ground. Navigation is not a strong point of ours and getting lost seemed like a very real possibility. We gave a last hug and pep talk to Nicola who was running with the very lovely Jenny Fairclough and we were off!

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However, only 2 minutes in and it got real scary, as we ran down what felt like a vertical incline and realised that we had to get back up it. TWICE! This was not good.

Jenny and I plodded round, getting hotter and hotter and redder and redder, being abused and shouted at, I mean supported by Gareth, Ann and Ben, until we got to that hill! I admit it we walked…all the way up. Not proud, but it was the only way to the top, apart from crawling and that’s never a good look! Oh and we got lapped on that hill by Dave a man who smiled and ran and I mean ran ran, like fast, past us. I never did like Chorley Harriers. Next it was downhill and I love going down hills, my favourite part was the steps, in fact that may have been the only part I liked! We kept going and on the 2nd circuit there was more abuse, but this time Shane was added to the mix, more photos and then that hill…again! This time, having been overtaken by Paul from Wesham at the beginning of it, he inspired us to actually try and run some of it and we managed half way. (I was impressed, even if you’re not)!

The end was now in sight. I could see RR people urging us over the finish and cheering us in as we crossed, TOGETHER, just as we had started. Nicola came in only about 4 minutes after us, a fantastic achievement and after cheering her in, her first words were “you’re gonna kill me aren’t you?” My answer in short was “yes!”. Fishwicks 5 was, Staveley aside, the most difficult race I have ran. I’m not sure if it was the heat or the hill that did it, but I was ill when I got home, really ill.

So Nicola, my advice to you is to stay off Facebook, research your runs, and if in doubt DON’T ENTER, because next time you do, you are on your own, (well with all the other mad RRosers) I’m sitting the next one out and I will never ever run that 1 again. :-))

However, to all my Red Rose buddies who have done it before and came back and all those who turned up today for the first time but can’t wait to do it again next year, you are my inspiration and one day maybe, just maybe, I’ll run up a hill and enjoy it. But in the mean time, thank you to you all for the support and encouragement, Red Rose Road Runners rock and I’m very proud to be part of such an inclusive club. Thank you x

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