Active Fakenham 5K

Thanks to Sarah S for her report on the Active Fakenham 5K.  Probably (most likely) the largest turn out for the club at an event, not only fielding 34 runners, but also providing all marshals for the course and manning our gazebo spreading the word of RntS.

‘Today I took part in the Active Fakenham 5k race. It was the first time I had worn the official Runners-next-the-Sea club t shirt.

As I pulled on the infamous white shirt with the blue logo this morning I was very nervous. It wasn’t the thought of running 5k that did it. Or even the daunting prospect of ‘running up that hill’ 5 times. The trouble is that I still struggle to see myself as a runner and didn’t want to let my fellow club members down.

At 9.30am (an hour before the race) I went through my preparation routine. Two paracetamol and a shot of Espresso to get them into my system quickly and I was ready to go. (Despite 3 operations last year and the input of 5 consultants I’m still in pain.)

At this point I must thank White Christine for the timely reminder about the clocks going forward otherwise I might have missed the race altogether!

At 9.40am with butterflies in my stomach I headed for the community centre to get my race bib. It was great to see so many people, including my running mate Candy. The atmosphere was electric. People everywhere were helping pin race numbers on to shirts and everyone was smiling. Thank you Patrick Saunders for pinning mine on. My hands were shaking too much to do it myself.

With bibs firmly attached Candy and I headed for the market place.
Wow! So many people. It was great to see so many familiar faces, especially those in matching white shirts.

At just after 10am around 50 RntS gathered for a team photo. At this point I must confess to having a lump in my throat. I felt so proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with this amazing bunch of people who have enabled me to achieve things I never thought I could.

As we milled around waiting for the start I took advice from Bob H on how to tackle the five laps.

Soon an announcement called all runners to the start line. This did lead to a few moments of panic. Candy and I thought we were nicely placed at the back until we realised that the pack were about to turn a full 180 degrees leaving us perilously at the front. We wriggled our way through until we could see day light at the back.

Club volunteers organiser, Paul Woodhouse was there to greet us and give us lots of encouragement.

Then we were off.
As we turned down past Flour and Bean for the cheers from the gathered crowds carried us along. When we met THE HILL for the first time the adrenaline was still pumping and we carried on running.

Before we saw them, we could hear Angie Barker , Tasha Woodhouse and team cheering, shouting and ringing. That was all we needed to keep going. It is remarkable how much energy you can absorb from the support of spectators.

As we headed back to the market place, nearing the end of lap one a cyclist came through hollering “keep on the left” then “lead runner coming through”

That’s right the lead runner was about to finish lap two and we hadn’t completed lap one. Over the next couple of minutes we were lapped by many competitors including several of our fellow RntS. I could not believe that as they powered past us they found the time and energy to shout “Go Sarah. Go Candy”. That lump was back. Their encouragement and kindness filled me with emotion. They typified exactly what our fabulous club, and the running community at large, is all about.

With mashals in RntS hoodies on every corner counting down the laps we pushed on.

Lap 3 was tough.
Lap 4 was tougher.

As we started lap five I checked my watch. 30 minutes had elapsed. Over 200 of the 294 participants had already finished.
At least we didn’t have to keep moving over the the lead runners. The road was all ours and I decided to enjoy every metre of it.

We tackled the hill for the last time and I’m sure Angie’s cheering was louder than ever. My legs were aching, my breathing was heavy and my kidney was sore. But with perfect timing Ant Cude fell into step beside me. He escorted me for the last 300m giving me extra strength. When I saw Mark on the finish line the words “finish faster” echoed round my head. So with a mini sprint I crossed the line a little after Candy collecting my medal along the way. That lump in my throat was back again.

I had finished. As a mingled among other finishers I enjoyed congratulating others. I also lost count of the number of fellow runners who congratulated me. Our times may have been very different but our respect was equal. At last I felt at ease to be wearing our club shirt.

Thanks to sublime timing for confirming that I ran the 5k in
37 minutes and 45 seconds
That’s my quickest 5k this year.
I’ll take that.

👍Thank you to Paul and team for making this event happen.
👍Thank you to all the volunteers for giving up their time to make sure the race went smoothly, safely and loudly.
👍Thank you to the other 293 runners for making it such a great race
👍 Thank you to everyone who turned out to create an incredible atmosphere

Thanks to Pete for taking great photos as always.
Thanks to Patrick and my family for always encouraging me
Thanks to those this week who told me I am “good enough” to wear the club shirt.

Will I be back next year?
Well I do like a challenge and it will be a chance to get a PB.’


Official Results:
Ant – 19:41.8
Kevin H – 20:25.7
Andrew S – 22:10.3
Ana – 22:13.7
Will – 22:24.2
Ellis – 22:27.5
Rob J – 22:43.2
Andrew T – 23:26.1
Kevin S – 23:33.3
Darren – 23:49.1
Freya – 23:52.3
Cam – 24:04.4
Bob H – 24:15.1
Oliver – 24:43.1
Cat C – 25:28.5
Gemma – 25:28.7
Alex – 25:47.2
Kat – 27:25.2
Sarah B – 28:27.9
Seb – 28:34.8
Paul W – 28:45.8
Chris L – 28:50.8
Nita – 29:03.6
Mark – 32:50.1
Becky – 33:44.8
Francesca – 33:56.3
Vicki – 34:29.6
Vikki – 35:31.7
Jenn – 36:32.3
Candy – 37:26.1
Sarah S – 37:45.6
Paul L – 38:35.7
Zara – 43:50.4
Hannah – 44:12.0