I really am totally lost for words as far as describing how the Great Forest Events went for me on Saturday but a few small ones would be WOW WOW WOW!!
The weather couldn’t have been better if we’d made it ourselves. I arrived with my family not too early before my race and there were cars everywhere, a bit of traffic leading up to the gate, which we sat in for all but 2 seconds before I jumped from the passengers seat advising my husband I would run ahead. I could not contain my excitement, I just wanted to get in amongst the people and start my 10km run. I was out the car and across the paddock, flew over the stile like a real farm girl, headed for what I could only make out to be a very large inflatable finish line!!
I got to the event HQ and joined the masses. The music box was pumping loud with a really good tune and it actually helped me to relax. I rushed to get my safety pins and get my bib on my great forest singlet (nice and straight), I started to do little stretches, looking around at all the people, some very serious athletes and then the normal civilians like myself all seemed to be doing little stretching movements too!! It was then time for the event briefing. It was very good and very informative which I found great as I’m definitely one who likes to know quite specific details especially when it involves putting my body on the line hehe.
What seemed like thousands of people started moving towards the gate and I’m thinking, oh no blow me down daisy, surely they aren’t all doing the 10km Run??? It was like a scene from a movie, everyone moving ever so slowly leading up to the start line, thousands of participants all pumped and eager, but nervous. People were everywhere; children, nana’s and grandpas, families galore. My mum took off to the front so I was happy I had my husband to talk to leading up to the start or I might of detoured I think with all the butterflies in my tummy.
We got away o.k, over the starting pad and it is straight into a maneuvering game, a bit like checkers, sideways, up across that sort of thing, always looking for a gap to move forward into the clearing. I started off well, remembering all the advice from everyone, pacing myself, not getting caught up in the fast lane with the top athletes, choosing someone (a marker) to keep up with. I ran a good strong 6km before my first stop (pretty chuffed with that distance), stretched my calf muscles a couple of times and from there carried on running at a good pace, I probably walked a kilometer out of the 10 I’d say. I finished very happy and feeling on top of the world, like I’d come first, completing it in 1hr 9mins.
It was so good, I loved it and I am a bit sad it is all over now but I am determined to keep training and plan on doing similar events in the near future, maybe further afield but definitely keen to sign up for another one. I was so proud of my mum and my husband for doing the GFE with me, my friends from Wellington that came to do it also. I can not wait till next year as I can almost guarantee in a years time I’ll be set to do the half marathon.
It was fantastic to see so many people from the region take part in the event, we really do have an awesome community. I not only have a nice shiny medal to show for my 10 week training course but I have lost 7-8kgs, I have some great healthy eating habits, and I have increased my fitness levels by 100%. It proves anyone can make the changes just by the choice to enter an event, try something new, there is plenty of activities in the community to become part of, it’s just a matter of making the choice, taking the first steps and setting small achievable goals each and everyday.
I’m so stoked I decided to do the Great Forest Event and even more excited that I achieved what I didn’t think I could 10 weeks ago just by making the choice to try!!
total training completed over the 10 weeks
"Its a lifestyle. Train like there is no finish line"