I ran the course: Bupa 10,000

I’ve literally just stepped in from running the Bupa 10,000, and can’t bear to hide the ecstatic mood I’m in. I probably shouldn’t be blogging with all this adrenaline pumping round my system, but I thought it best to capture the raw mood of it all.

It was absolutely fantastic, and I loved it, despite not training nearly as much as I should’ve, and getting a stitch at around 4K that stayed with me for the next few kilometres. It was a slog, to be honest, but it was so worth it. According to my calculations, I actually made it round the course faster than my previous 10K attempts, clocking in (this is an estimation, remember) at just under 50 minutes. I was given a timing chip, so my official time will be posted online tomorrow, so watch this space! Some might call that slow, but I’ve never referred to myself as anything else than a slow runner, so I’m very pleased!

I was surprised to be placed in the second wave from the front of the race. For the non-runners among us, they aggregate all runners into ‘waves’ based on speed, and release them at the start with a few minutes between each. This was kind of shocking, to say the least, as I’ve never thought of myself as anything other than an averagely paced runner, but it was a nice boost to my confidence nonetheless. I actually didn’t have that many people overtaking me, and actually overtook a lot of people as the race was drawing to a close, while doing my best to spur them on with shouts, cheers and hearty thumbs up. They might have thought I was slightly deranged, but the thought was definitely there.

It never ceases to amaze me that there is an unbelievable sense of camaraderie, and undeniable sense of unity amongst your fellow runners at these events. Usually, I’m one to believe that society is inherently broken, but I’m always gobsmacked that for one day, people forget about their egos, their reticence, and their apathy, and are just…well, normal people, and behave as normal people should do. I got talking at the starting line to three fellow runners around me. You can just approach someone and start up a conversation, without them thinking you’re a weirdo. It’s astonishing. The route-side supporters were amazing too, and I cannot thank them enough. Epilepsy Research UK sent me some iron-on letters with my running vest, so I could emblazon my name across the front of my vest. I can’t count the number of remarks I had from well-wishers. “Come on Aris”, “You can do this, Aris”, “You’re the man, Aris”. My most vivid memory is from just past the 8K mark, when a man, standing with a group of supporters, shouted, “COME ON, ARIS”, and I went a bit mental, shouting back, “YEAH, ROCK AND ROLL”, while skipping and pumping my fists in the air. They probably did think I was a bit of a weirdo, but it certainly gave me the drive to hold my pace, and in fact, speed up a little for the last two kilometres.

It’s moments like this that really restore my faith in society, and let me know that there are, in fact, some decent people out there. I suppose it’s given, seeing that the vast majority of runners are raising money for charity, all in different coloured running apparel, giving off the impression of a sea of colour, especially on the approach to hills. I, myself, raised over £200 for Epilepsy Research UK; a phenomenal amount. I’d like to thank all of my lovely sponsors, and also remind the rest of you that you can still donate at http://www.justgiving.com/aris, if you so wish.

I can’t think of how to round off this entry. I’m just filled with such happiness and love for the world right now. If anyone who completed the 10,000 happens to encounter this entry, then well done! You are a legend, whoever you are, and it’s people like you who make the world a better place.