Blue Runnings

Race Reviews, GPX files and more from North-East England

Run 2 Remember Sunderland 2016

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Run 2 Remember has rolled around again raising money for 4 major military personnel supporting charities. This was high on J’s list of favourite runs last year so it had to make the calendar this year – and they had a raffle and tombola! Who doesn’t love a race where you can win things without even running?

This is the second year we’ve run this one, and it’s setting a trend for sunshine, even if there was a bit of a shower on the way there. 🙂 We also had another friendly face we recognised (we didn’t know anyone except Hippie the photographer and his family last year) in the appearance of R at the start line! J was obviously getting into the zone right from the gathering at the starting banner, and as we started off she shot off looking for ‘space’ and I don’t think actually heard me when I attempted to start a conversation with her as we set off. Ironically after a few hundred yards when I’d just decided to set my own steady pace and leave her to it, I actually had all the space around me, while J 50 yards in front was still in a pack of people. There was the most enormous buzzard overhead on the starting half-mile and J (usually a birdwatcher) was completely oblivious to it.

R caught me up as we reached the bottom of the hill and prepared to set out along the field to the lake, and given how close behind me he finished (we’ll come to that later!) presumably stayed not far behind me for the rest of the race though I was blissfully unaware of this and pootling along in my own little world. I saw The Buzzard, many gulls, swans, ducks and heard something making an odd noise at the bottom end of the lake, though I didn’t see the owner of the little voice…

J was getting an increasing lead by this point – I was waving at her from the other side of the lake as she started her second lap ahead of me – and the irony of doing the same thing the year before when I was finishing my second lap and she was starting hers was not lost upon me! I caught a glimpse of a pink-sided ninja vest as I joined the straight along the field and she was reaching the end of it, and that was it until the finishing straight at the end of the hill! Last year, it was me that was ahead and I must confess to sneaking a walk in on the long hill back up to the finish line, while J (very indignant when she found this out) had kept a steady pace up and managed to make it up the whole thing. I don’t think I’m capable of ever being quite as stubborn as J when it comes to much, but I did decide to myself that I was going to get into the J-zone and repeat her steady all-the-way-round approach of last year and make it up the hill, still pootling along.

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The Sun Shines on Sunderland – Run 2 Remember

The morning of the Run 2 Remember race in Sunderland, this article came up on my facebook news feed. Reading it really helped bring into focus for me what the charities behind the Run 2 Remember series are working for and towards, and made me feel so incredibly lucky to still have the use of all my facilities. I haven’t really been following the Walk With the Wounded Tour of Britain, just had a general awareness that it was going on. The woman featured in the story has had most of her body rebuilt over the last few years, and then walked 1000 miles before being scheduled to have her leg amputated. That’s just the physical barriers she’s overcome. If that doesn’t make you grateful you’re able to swing yourself out of bed in the morning and sweep away all excuses for not doing something I really don’t know what will.

When I booked this race, it was to be my last 5k of the year and I was hoping for a shot at a pb – November race, should be nice and cold, flat course, good paths… A good plan except someone forgot to tell the weather what time of year it was, so it was 15-16’C and when running it felt like July, there were several long hills near the end, and I’d forgotten to take into account the fact it’s autumn so all those lovely tarmac paths were covered in wet leaves. Fun times ahead!

The course followed what I believe is the Sunderland parkrun route and it was very pretty and less hilly than the Blackhill one! J and I completely melted on the way round but we made it – down the hill, twice round the lake (fortunately a small lake as I don’t do well with laps!), along the field and then up…and more up…and up some more to the finish line! We raided the burger van for sausage rolls with onions because we’d totally earned them. We got a pretty funky medal and a goody bag filled with yummies, and for some reason low sodium salt in vast quantities…

I enjoyed this one 🙂 A good reason to get up on a Sunday morning – though personally I would have liked it about 10 degrees colder!

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You can download the GPX data for this course from my Dropbox account by following the link below:

GPX data on Dropbox

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