A few weeks ago my dad mentioned that he was going to run the Herts 10k, a local race organised by a hospice to raise funds. We had run it many years ago, and as he is trying to up his distance, and was around that weekend he’d decided to give it a go. As I was free, I signed up too, and so last Sunday morning I picked him up and we drove to Harpenden.
It was perfect weather for running- the most gorgeous autumnal day- blue skies with a chill in the air. We arrived with about half an hour to spare (we had allowed extra time as you have to park at the train station and then walk just under a mile to start), so we found a place to stand in the sun to warm up for a bit! Dad had worn tracksuit trousers over his shorts, and had brought a bag (I was just going to tie my top around my waist as I ran) so we used the bag drop (well, tent) and then headed to the start.
From their facebook page- gorgeous blue skies.
I had thought that he would run ahead, but when we were chatting about times, we both wanted to finish in under an hour. My last time running this course I managed around 62 minutes, and my dad and brother were just a few seconds over the hour, so we both fancied that target. We did arrange a place to meet up just in case one of us was running slightly faster, but in the end we ran together. It was so enjoyable- the course is really lovely, just through fields, along country tracks, with a small section through residential streets- here people had come out of their houses and were cheering everyone on. I had my Garmin on so I was keeping an eye on the time- we reached half way in just under 30 minutes- and we were both feeling good (my dad has to keep an eye on his knee). Although I had run the course before, it was a few years ago (5 or 6) and all I could remember was a hill by a golf course. The hill came, and although it was steep, it wasn’t too bad, and we both ran up it- in fact at the top we both wondered if that was it! Dad said it was a bit of proof that we were fitter than last time- I agreed and thought that the hill at the end of Panshanger parkrun was also good training for this!
At times you had to watch your step to avoid twisting an ankle, as some of the ground was rutted or covered in long grass, but it was just such a pretty route to run around. We got a bit stuck as there was one long thin path, with just over a mile to go I think, where you had to run single file and we slowed a little here. I did think we would need to push on a bit in the final mile. We got to the 9km marker and my dad remarked “9 miles? What?” before realising it was a kilometre marker! It’s not just me that gets confused at races! At this point I think we were on 53 minutes, and we compared it to a 30 minute parkrun being 6 minute km’s, thought we would have enough time. The final section was on the same path that we started on, and I thought it was going to finish sooner than it did, so we sped up a bit too soon! Anyway, we crossed the line together, with our official chip time being 58.40! Nicely under the hour mark!
Dad collected the bag, and then of course we had to have a photo- I was clearly very excited here! (This took many attempts as neither of us are good at A- looking at the camera, and B- keeping our eyes open for photos!).
We then had a cool-down walk back to the car, before heading home for a shower (our boiler still wasn’t working so I’d packed all my shower things, towels and clothes). Mum then made us a brunch of pancakes, fruit and tea. All was good in the world!
What sort of activities do you do with your family? My brother and dad go cycling together, and sometimes we will have a long walk somewhere.