Liberty, Taylor and myself had plans to run the course hopefully within an hour. Ivy was roped in at the last minute but would only commit to a leisurely walk. Dad was in charge of the two little ones who had their own race numbers and and a bicycle made for three.
It was a friendly, relaxed event with no official timing but I had my running watch on to see if I could hit my target time. The route was along pretty country lanes with very little traffic although I did have a bit of a mission trying to navigate around a huge tractor carrying straw bales.
There were two water stations on the course for which I was very grateful - more to douse myself with welcome coolness than for actual drinking (I worry about needing a wee). Liberty has not yet mastered the art of drinking and running at the same time so she and Taylor stopped to rehydrate. Worried that if I stopped I'd struggle to restart (I worry a lot!) I carried on moving. I assumed my girls would catch me up but they didn't. For a mile or so, I could still hear them chatting behind me but a niggle in Liberty's knee slowed her down and I ended up with a good lead.
I am quite used to running 3 miles but I wasn't sure how well I'd cope with the extra two, especially as the course had a fair few inclines. When I only had one mile to go, I felt great and even managed to pick my pace up. Then there was the hill from hell - not particularly steep, but very long. By the time I reached the top I felt as though I was practically crawling. But I did reach the top! From then on, it was a simple case of crossing the finish line. But where was the finish line? I passed the 5 mile marker and was very happy to see that I was comfortably within my 1 hour goal - but still there was no finish line in sight. Then I saw Liberty's boyfriend, long since finished his run, armed with a camera and shouting not far to go now. I have yet to see the photo he took but he did mention something about me looking very sweaty!
I did not have much left for an impressive finish once the elusive official end finally came into view but I did cross with a smile and within an hour.
I was exhausted and elated in equal measures....
... the little ones were now proud owners of finishers medals....
... and I recovered quickly enough to be there to cheer my girls as they finished.
I think the happy faces of the 'walking' contingent of our team sum up what a lovely family day it was incorporating a not insignificant sense of achievement, lots of fun and best of all ... sunshine!