This morning I enjoyed the extra hour in bed, before getting up to run to Queens Park to do Moira’s 5k Run there. I did it last year and enjoyed it, so entered again this year. This year we started from the bandstand, I think near where Moira’s flat overlooked the park.
It was pretty chilly this morning, but I wrapped up warm and ran the 2 miles to Queens Park, getting there just after 10am. It was a lovely beautiful autumnal morning – between 0 and 2’C to start with, then it warmed up to about 10’C later in the day. The main thing was that there was no wind or rain, so the conditions were ideal. Here’s a nice picture I took when I got to the park.
I thought I would be mostly on my own, then Jo came up and said hello at the bandstand. Last year Jo, Audrey, Louise, Lisa and I all did the run… but this year it was just Jo and I. Audrey was at work, Louise didn’t make it, and Lisa was running the Dublin marathon (well done Lisa!). We stood listening to Bea, Moira’s Mum, at the start. (For more about Moira and Moira’s Fund, see the bottom of this post).
Bea mentioned how Moira’s flat used to look over the park, and they called it ‘Moira’s Park’. Then the terrible thing happened 10 years ago, when she was murdered in the park. But Bea wanted us all to reclaim the park for ourselves, our park.
Once again this year, her speech at the start was very heart felt and thoughtful. She mentioned many who were running it / raising money for the charity, and all of the organisers and volunteers. Charity patron Elaine C Smith was also there and had a few jokes to crack, joking that she’d already run the route, along with some other fun jokes.
I wasn’t sure if I would run the 5k fast, or whether I’d take it easy… it seemed like a good idea to take it easy and take the beautiful park and surroundings in… and now Jo was here it gave me an excuse not to run fast, and to run with her instead.
After the warm up (which as usual I didn’t take part in)… we walked to the start line and were quite far back in the pack, so there wasn’t much room to start fast for me.
The route takes you from the bandstand then up right up the hill, turning right, then down past the bandstand again… it was there that we saw Fit Girl who came to see us run as a surprise. She snapped a few pictures of us as we went.
I ended up running with Jo for the first mile, then she said she wanted to slow down, and suggested I go off on my own. My first mile was a 10:10 minute mile, then just before the hill at the glasshouse I took off on my own.
I seemed to zoom past some others, especially on the down hills… and at one point I passed Stephanie from the Bella Harriers. She was helping John run his first 5k, and it was nice to see her in passing.
A little further on, I was pushing strong and passed Anne Williamson, another Harrier… I was tempted to slow down to chat to her, but she encouraged me to keep going without her and we’d chat at the end.
My second mile was much faster, a 7:11 min mile. Up and over the hill one more time, and my third mile was around 7:34..my average heart rate running on my own was around 168 – right up my race pace towards the end.
My last 0.1M was 6:16 min mile pace (and 174 HR), maybe to do with (another Bella Harrier) Paul Clawson cheering me on. It was good feeling like I was running strong, and was probably helped by the first easy mile.
I’m glad I ran that first one with Jo… although it meant a finish time of 25:29, it was nice to catch up with her, and not beast it all the way.
I was thinking it’d be good to see how fast I can run a 5k and I might do a wee time trial in the next month or so. See if I can get anywhere near my 5k pb of 21:31 I set quite a few years ago.
I could have maybe run 23 minutes today if I’d really pushed it, so anything under that would be a bonus. Maybe I should race my 14 year old nephew and see if he can make me run fast? 😉
After the run today, we were given a goodie bag which had a bottle of water, a tangerine, a Moira Fund card, and a Moira Fund flyer… along with some biscuits and my favourite – a mars bar. Yum. The medal was the same as last years, but this time with a green ribbon instead of a blue ribbon.
Here’s us at the end, with a bit of a sweat on. After I spoke with the few people I knew there at the end, I started my 2 mile run home… taking it easy, and enjoying the nice morning, Mars bar in hand for later on.
And here’s me at the end with my medal (and thumbs up for my mars bar):
Here’s some more about Moira and the Moira Fund: