And so it is over....
By Karen (Kaz) Hurrell, 26 May 2012 –
Nearly a week on and I’m still having problems putting my thoughts and feelings about the 10in10 onto ‘paper’ but here goes.
I guess I should start with a round-up of Day 10. On the one hand it was like every other day. I got up, went to Body Rehab for taping, testing and treatment, had breakfast, then ran a marathon but on the other hand it was a totally surreal, over-whelming experience. As I said in my last blog I was really nervous and exceptionally emotional. I’ve lost count the number of people that were subjected to my tears on Sunday but that’s me – I’m a cry baby!
Even in the athletes’ room you couldn’t get away from the fact that this was a very different day from the others. There were all the preparations for the Fun Day and main marathon going on outside, the guy making announcements over the PA (the announcement about the 10in10 just kept adding to my already stretched nerves!) and more and more people, including many familiar faces, kept arriving. Eventually the time came for our last roll call and Aly’s speech (cue more tears) and then we headed out of the Hall to be introduced to the crowd. As a rather quiet, shy person I’m not comfortable with being so under the spotlight but it was an amazing experience.
Soon we were heading down the drive ready to dib and set off on our last loop of the Lake. As on Day 9 I ran quite a lot with Nick and it was really great to have his company for so long. We kept trying to guess how far we’d get before the first runner in the main marathon would zip past us and I think we were both surprised that we got as far as Lakeside before the hares caught us up. Though it felt very odd having strangers on ‘our’ course the words of support, encouragement and congratulations that we got from the other runners was truly amazing as was the roadside support. A couple of comments did make me chuckle – about 24 miles someone passed me and said ‘keep going’; I knew what he meant but it has to be said that after 260 miles I’d have crawled on my hands and knees if that's what it took to finish! And at about 13.5 miles a marshal called out to me ‘bet you’re looking forward to your gin and tonic!’. Word had obviously spread about my daily G&T in the ice bath!
Apart from the odd niggles that I’d had on every day my legs felt great and certainly not legs that had just run nine consecutive marathons but I always struggle in the heat and Day 10 was certainly a warm one. On Day 9 I’d been able to pretty much keep my pace going and finished strong but tbh the early heat took it out of me and I found the stretch from Ice Cream Mountain really quite hard work. One of my colleagues caught me at about 23.5 miles and though I couldn’t rally enough to keep him in sight, it did give me the spurt I needed to finish in my fastest time of the 10 days.
Post-finish was a complete flurry – medal, champagne, photos, presentation and lots of hugs and kisses and not forgetting a hysterical 10 minutes in the ice bath with Jim and Jeff! I think though that out of the many amazing things that happened on Sunday the highlight has to be standing on that stage with the rest of the Class of 2012 – a group I feel enormously honoured to be part of.
So, what am I taking from this whole experience?
1. A whole new ‘family’ who I love and miss very much.
2. Brathay is a magical place and I lost my heart to it and the Lakes.
3. The Brathay Trust is an organisation that does quite literally help people change their lives forever.
4. That I should have the belief in myself that others have in me.
5. That if you really want something and work for it then almost anything is possible.
6, That my life will, quite frankly, never be the same again.
7. That I need to harness these positive feelings and make some changes to my life – circumstances may dictate that they are only small but that’s ok.
Thank you to everyone who’s supported me along the way both in words and sponsorship. My JG page is still active if anyone would still like to make a donation – http://www.justgiving.com/kazzaaaaah
As for the future, well who knows what that holds but I do want to extend my ties with Brathay in some way and will certainly re-visit as often as I can.
And a final note – would I do it again? In a heartbeat, yes! For me it was an experience beyond anything I’d ever imagined – most definitely life enriching and life changing.