I’m still buzzing from the most fantastic morning.  Being part of the Bristol 10k and an utterly fabulous Nordic walking ‘army’.  We'd done our training and were ready for the event.

Some great drummers set the carnival scene in the runners village as we stowed our bags and queued for the loos (!).  Then on to Millennium Square and our meeting place by the Planetarium. We were loud and proud in our red T-shirts and Bristol Nordic Walking caps.  A formidable sight.

Cue our ‘Angel’, Cristina, who magnanimously lent her poles to Beate  (she had left hers on the bus and knew that it would be impossible to complete the 10k without them).  Thank you Cristina for such a kindhearted act.

For health and safety reasons we started at the back. Fair enough - it wouldn’t have done to cause havoc by tripping people up or spiking them with our poles (as if we would).  The amusing thing was that, as we began our race, the winner was finishing his – in an astonishing time of 29 min 17 seconds.  Hmmm, even with our go faster poles and near perfect technique we were no match for that!

Onto the race and our Nordic racers: 

  • Lucinda and Kate – 2 years ago Lucinda was finding it hard to walk at all, due to the development of ankylosing spondylitis, a chronic form of arthritis. She discovered Nordic walking though and today completed the Bristol 10k, with Kate at her side supporting her all the way!
  • Beate, Ros and Clare - Clare said “ If anyone had said to me, this time last year, that I could do the Bristol 10k I’d have laughed.  But here I am with a medal round my neck and it was great!".  Beate also achieved a distance she never thought possible a few years ago, thanks to the poles. 
  • Mel and Mike – Mel’s first race since she was 4 years old (when she apparently came last because she skipped the whole way!).  No skipping today, just an amazing experience and one of which her Dad would have been proud.
  • Melissa, Janet and Joy – A red letter day for all of us at BNW as Melissa allowed her photo to be taken.  They loved the challenge – good training for Joy who’s competing in the 100km Ridgeway walk in 6 weeks!
  • Monika and Karen – Taking the race by storm and impressing the crowds with some excellent Nordic walking technique.
  • Lucy and Sue – First ever Nordic walking finger blister sustained by Lucy but she pushed through it!
  • Kirsty, Annie, Jane, Sam and Cristina – five over the line together and overtaking large numbers of runners along the way.  That’s the way to do it!
  • Me – Aiming for a sub 1 hour 15 mins time and a pace of over 5mph.  I think I did it but I shall have to wait and see…

A day to remember.  A day I want to repeat.  A magnificent Bristol experience with a brilliant bunch of people.  We were the ones who were smiling all the way round, enjoying ourselves and passing runners left, right and centre.  We felt fabulous at the end too and thanks guys for joining us at Bordeaux Quay afterwards - it rounded the whole event off perfectly. Let’s put this date in our diaries for next year.  Bristol 10k you have been warned!

Vicky

 

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