Picture this. It's 8am on a Saturday morning. Usually I'd be asleep, or at the very least still in bed. But this Saturday is different. As I do every weekday, I've hopped on a train to London (30 mins later than usual, phew!), but unlike most weekdays, I'm heading to run 5km in Shoreditch Park.
Yep, you're mad is probably the correct response to have. But hey, I was taking part in the Giff Gaff Money Fit Challenge. This entailed 5km (4 laps of the park) of running, including an inflatable obstacle on the course, followed by 8 randomly selected participants riding a mechanical pig. Yes, a mechanical pig. (Spoiler alert: I got picked). Giff Gaff donated money to the chosen charity of the three 'winning pig-riders' (can't believe I just wrote that). (Second spoiler alert: I didn't get close to the top times!). Oh and disclaimer: that 17 minute clock time in the header picture is me at the half way point. I'm not that fast. 😂
You can usually find me at Parkrun on Saturday mornings, but taking part in this event instantly appealed to me due to the charity aspect. Since I have a season ticket for the train, it was just as cheap for me to pop to London, it just meant getting up a liiiittle earlier than I would normally!
Let me tell you, I'm so glad I decided to go along! Firstly, I got to catch up with a couple of lovely blogger friends, Lauren & Maddy and secondly I got to see a whole new bunch of faces while doing something that I love – just look at how smiley we all were!
As I said, the course was four laps of the park, including one hell of an inflatable obstacle just after the start line. I have to admit I did way more walking than I usually would have, that inflatable was an absolute killer. Something about not being quite stable and then trying to run through an even less stable bouncy castle! Regardless, I'm really glad I did it and despite the walking, I still managed to beat my best time by about 30 seconds. A long way to go till I'm marathon-spec, but each little victory helps to motivate me along the way.
The support along the route was so great as well. No matter how fast (or slow) you were going, the marshals were clapping away, which made me feel kinda guilty for walking at points, but ended up being a perfect motivator to get running again.
When I finally got to the finish line I was given a medal as well as a goodie bag full of treats and a t-shirt (perfect for running – I've already worn it out on my runs a few times!) – and then came the mechanical pig!
The morning was absolutely fantastic and I went home feeling really glad that I had sacrificed an hour of sleep for it. I would definitely take part in any of these events again, I can't commend the organisation enough (it can be surprisingly hard to find!)
A massive thank you to the event organisers (in particular, Jennie, who sent me the invitation to join in!) and photo credit, Luke Todd of The Race Organiser. Everyone did an amazing job, I couldn't believe how smooth the whole event was!
Until next time,