Yesterday, I ran the inaugural Yorkshire 10 mile. It was my furthest distance so far. As with every time you run a new distance or a new course, you don’t know quite what to expect. How will your body feel? How big will those hills be? Can you really make it all the way around?
There is something special about a big event. The atmosphere, the build-up, the anticipation. Feeling simply, part of something special.
Part of what makes it so special, what makes it a little easier to keep on going when you think you can’t run another step, are those people that you meet so briefly; the kindness of strangers to just another runner passing by.
So thank you from me, from all of the runners, to……
The volunteers, pointing the way, handing out the water, tidying up behind us, shouting encouragement over and over.
Those people that held out Jelly Babies and fruit pastels so that we could top up our energy levels.
The children, who held out their hands for a high five, all along the route.
The boy and his Dad on the outskirts of York, playing the theme tune to ‘Dad’s Army’ on a trumpet, who made a whole load of runners laugh.
The people who sat in deckchairs in every villages along the way, shouting and cheering and waving flags.
The band, just before the final hill, banging their drums and giving us the energy for that last stretch.
Those who came with homemade signs, both funny and inspirational.
Those that bothered to check your name on your shirt, and shout for you personally.
The two young girls in between water stations, one holding a black bin liner, the other a sign saying ‘drop your rubbish here’.
The police men and women on the route who joined in with the encouragement.
The band, right out amidst the country lanes, playing an acoustic ‘Teenage Kicks’ as I ran through.
Everyone that shouted ‘well done’ to a stranger as they crossed the line.
And for every single ‘you can do it’.
You made it a better experience. You helped us run home.