Who would have thought that only 4 months after starting to run we'd be entering a 10k race. I'm still surprised myself but it was the exact anniversary of us 'giving up smoking' and it felt like the right way to celebrate our new found fitness and health.
Mad Dog 3, Judgement Day, was organised by Southport Hesketh Round Table and as it couldn't be much closer to our house unless it started from our front door this was to be our first race. We got up early, fuelled up with a proper breakfast and drove into the icy weather, a little nervous as to what to expect.
We were early but were immediately caught up in the whole 'Mad Dog' vibe, everyone was very helpful, and the atmosphere was buzzing even though the weather was trying to cool it down. We picked up our T shirts early to avoid the inevitable rush later on but ran in our SRC shirts which turned out to be a great idea as we had something dry to put on after the race.
The pack of howling dogs gathered at the start and we were off. Out to the coastal road, turn left then run all the way to the end of marine lake. Back along the other side of the lake and finish down the road a bit, opposite the RSPB car park. Well that was the route but it was a lot better than it sounds. There was a drum troupe, Elvis impersonator, a singer under the pier and countless sea cadets along the way. All cheering us on and giving a much needed boost to our legs, especially towards the end as we turned into the icy NW wind.
In pIaces I ran with a few of our fellow runners from Preston parkrun and I know there were a few there from SRC Chorley but mainly I just ran with the 'pack'. I crossed the finish a little before Wendy, not unexpected as my stride length is longer but I did beat my target time and came in, in a chip time of 53 minutes 30 seconds, a minute and a half faster than my target time. Getting my breath back I grabbed the huge bag of goodies and cheered Wendy through the finish as she also beat, by some margin, her target time.
Wearing our first running medals with pride and with smiles on our faces we made our way home with only praise for the Southport Hesketh Round Table who are the organisers of the Mad Dog 10k, it was an amazing first race experience and after doing this I've no doubt well be doing more.