The Redway Runners 2016 relay is a annual race set up by the running club, it was my first chance to get involved with an event from the club.

It took place on Saturday 16th July and 14:00, with it starting during the day it was a bit more of a difficult time. I was also doing a night shift that night so I had to sleep before, races that started during the afternoon I feel that there is sometimes a bit of waiting around until you need to start. It was also peak heat at that time of the day, I always struggle with the heat and at the time it had been extremely hot for the week, very muggy with little wind or relief at all. I was also doing a night shift and 14:00 is when I usually sleep before I head to work but I had to sleep longer in the morning to even out my body clock (which didn’t work).

Now in its 4th year each lap is approximately 2.5 miles and is suitable for all running abilities, it cost £9.50 per runner in teams of 4 and you received a medal at the end. Now when I first heard about it I thought it was more for the ‘elite’ runners of the club but it was open to clubs all around Milton Keynes and all abilities were welcome.

Our team were all from the Zero to Hero programme and I thought that 2.5 miles was alright, it was a nice smaller distance that hopefully I should get a good time for. We started at the pub at the top of the lake, it was packed with runners from all different clubs, we were met with a team briefing. It was great running with some of the others from the group, just to get to see them and have a chat.

The course

The course itself was relatively flat, there was only one bit by the aqua duct where you you have a slight incline/decline but the rest of the course is flat. You run around the whole of the lake which is beautiful, and then follow it into the bottom of the lake through the redways and the trees for about 1km of the run. The trees were a great relief, it was so hot and there isn’t any shade on the lake. You’re getting the reflection of the sun off the lake so it was very very hot!

The race

The race itself was very relaxed, you set off in wave a, b, c and d depending on which leg of the relay you were in. I was in the first wave and it as clear the other teams had decided to put their ‘elite’ runners first. The faster runners, the team put me in the first wave as I had my night shift but I definitely slowed the group down. We set off and I was straight at the back, everyone disappeared into the distance and I was left to catch up. The heat in the first part started to get to me, there was no wind, no shade, nothing so it was really starting to affect my run.

I managed to get towards the end, the course catches you out a little bit, it looks like you’re about to finish because you can see the end but theres a hidden corner and you have to keep winding around and it seems like you’re heading away from the finish. The last stretch headed into a giant crowd all cheering you on, I passed the spoon on the the second runner.

I felt very ill after that race, almost felt like I was going to be sick. Steph, Wendy and Phil ran very good laps but I think we all did suffer from the heat a little bit but we had a great race. We did come 45 out of 47 but for starter runners it was a good start to our running days. We enjoyed it and it was great to have a race with the some of the guys from the zero to hero group to race with.