When there’s a will
Most of us remember feeling nervous running our first 10K race. Angela goes one step further and runs her first race blindfolded to raise money for Fight For Sight. Find out how she got on…
Wednesday 5 June 2013
So, here I am. At the start line of the London Bupa 10K. I know I’m prepared, I know I can run 10K. However, I don’t know that I can run 10k blindfolded, round the streets of London. Too late, the starting horn sounds…
Aaron and I were totally kitted up in our ‘blind-fold kit’, which consisted of our ‘Fight for Sight’ vest’s, Aarons hi-viz guide vest, our wrist tether and the all important blindfold. It turns out that aside from the importance of the blindfold, the main saviour of the day was the wrist tether. We had not trained with a tether and therefore questioned the importance of it. The day before the race we picked one up as a precaution. From the very off I realised just how important it was going to be. No matter how much you trust your guide (In my case I trust Aaron completely), however, for peace of mind I knew we could not be parted and /or lost in the crowds.
While I am starting to get acclimatised to my new loss of sense, we start our shuffle to the start line, it’s very quiet and although this was calming, I knew that I was in the middle of a couple of thousand in our group. Eeek.
As we carry on our shuffle we are subject to many people congratulating us on our looming venture, this was needed, however, strange as it was I felt all I could return was a thumbs up. I appeared to lose my tongue (I know, Aaron did check my temperature) as well as my sight and my thumb became my new form of communication for the next hour and twenty three minutes.
Very nearly, we’re at the start line, awaiting our turn for the off and Aaron says to me “ready”!? “yes” I replied. Wondering what choice I had at that point to return the answer of, “No”!
And…we’re off, we start a very steady jog and as I’m told it’s really very congested and therefore tiny steps are needed. Aside from a couple of unnecessary barges, it only took only a couple of minutes for it to clear and then we were pretty much alone. By this point, like Mo Farah, we have our very own crowd cheering us on, (except we were at the back ad Mo had already finished) however, I responded with my trusty thumb!
Before I knew it, there was a voice, “A-N-G-E-L-A” I knew it was my Mum. My Mum and Brother had come to support Aaron and I on our race and it really does seem true that when a sense is lost, your other senses are heightened. I had heard her before Aaron had and I shouted “Mum’s there”! As soon as Aaron located her and he told me which side she was on, my thumb, once again showed an appearance as well as an OK signal so that she knew I was doing ok.
I remember it becoming really hard around Fenchurch street area and Leadenhall market, as all I could hear from Aaron was, “turn left”, “turn-right”, “straight” and so on. At this point, all I wanted to do was run straight, even if my straight was wonky, that’s what I wanted to do. However, I listened and replied with a polite, “ok”.
We’re getting to the last couple of miles and I’m getting tired, once again I hear my trusty Mum hollering in the background and it seemed to induce some sort of turbo-boost within me.
I know this as the garmin recorded my first mile as 14:34 and my last mile as 11:36. If I do say so myself, WOW!
By the time Aaron tells me that we’re approaching The Mall, I’m ready to finish, I was running on empty and I gave all my efforts to a sprint finish.
Mission accomplished, 1:23.59 and we’re across the line, my trusty partner and I have a celebratory hug, after what was an emotional experience. Off it comes, plasters and blindfold off and sunglasses swiftly on. After a welcome cuddle from my mum, we went off to collect our medal!
It just goes to show, when there’s a will, there’s definitely a way and my “will” is my cousin, Paul McGuire, who is suffering from Chorioderemia and who will I hope, benefit in any way from this effort. Thank you to everybody who has sponsored the charity via the justgiving page. We are currently at a total of £710 which has superseded my initial target, so, Thank you.
I would like to take this opportunity to say Thank you to Aaron, I put my full trust in you and you looked after me in return.
What shall we do next year?…
I ran for Fight for Sight charity. Please help support my 10K blindfold run:justgiving.com/angela-prio