When we realised that the first Northern Cyprus 5k race was coinciding with our holiday in April we were really quite excited! What better way to get to know a running route that I could do next time we come as I’ve been struggling to find suitable ones, (N Cyprus is very rugged and mountainous with the threat of snakes and the roads have no pavements).
In the bar, the night before the race, a couple of bottles of wine later, Jon and I were our usual competitive selves – cast your minds back to the Blackpool 10k and it was a bit like that. For those of you who don’t know, Jon takes great delight in winding me up about which of us will get the best time to the point that I have actually had to be stretchered off by St. John’s Ambulance 200m before the finishing line, due to exhaustion- pushed by my ever loving husband. Bets were on in the bar. I was feeling a little worried as I have been injured and not run since the Blackpool half at the end of February. Nevertheless, my husband was not going to get the better of me!
The race was due to start at 1pm. A large number of runners assembled to support the first ever organised race. Wearing my Astley and Tyldsley vest with pride, I had to smile as we set off to ‘Chariots of Fire’ blaring through the speakers. The incline for 2.5k was quite tough, especially in the heat, but as we were coming back the same route of course that meant coming back would be a breeze!? Jon and I set off together but after a couple of minutes I had to lose him (sorry Jon, but there was a lot riding on it – I had to face everybody in the bar that night!)
On the turn around at 2.5k, I was heading into the sea of people still on the first leg of the race. Words of encouragement were being shouted from expat runners and Turkish Cypriots alike (I think they were words of encouragement but my Turkish isn’t great). The Marshalls were shouting with excitement and ‘Do it for the women!’ encouraged me as I was feeling a little tired at this point – plus side – no sign of Jon. As I came into the finish there were roars and cheers – I felt like some kind of super athlete (which of course is not a feeling I am used to.) Looking around for Faye and Beth, who completely missed me coming in as they were in the bar – say no more – a woman approached me to inform me I was the first woman in and third overall!!!! As you can imagine, I couldn’t believe it! What did that say about the other runners? I think I’m going train really hard next year – I feel like there is some kind of expectation. People kept coming to congratulate me. Is this what it feels like, all you super fast runners?
In conclusion, a very enjoyable day was had. Great result, money raised for Cancer Research and I easily beat Jon – that might keep him from winding me up next time. Oh, and a few well earned drinks in the bar. Can’t wait for next year! :)