Redbull Wings for Life

Since the marathon I’ve been taking it easy. I’ve said before that I think it’s important to include post-marathon recovery time into your marathon training schedule. That is easier said than done when the weather starts to get nice, the days long, and the leaves green. But, I’ve been trying to keep sensible.

The week after the marathon I was actually in a lot of pain. My quads had taken a beating and both my hips were super sensitive.  It took me 3 days to feel normal anywhere close to stairs and a whole week before I could comprehend walking any more than absolutely necessary.  I was surprised as I didn’t hurt this much in previous long runs, but I think my enthusiasm & adrenaline during London hid some of the physical pains.

I had agreed to go to the Redbull Wings for Life run the weekend after the marathon to blog about it, and Alex had entered himself for the race as well. My race entry, transport, and hotel the night before was covered by Redbull (thank goodness as I didn’t realise how out of the way Silverstone actually is).  For the past 3 years Alex and I have gone to the Redbull Steeplechase in the Peak District, so I was keen to see how Redbull put on this, much bigger, race.

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It was really fun. The hotel was the mobile-container Snoozebox which was perfect for staying the night at a place that doesn’t have any hotels near it. I’d def stay there again if it was an option. The food they provided left a lot to the imagination though as we had a pretty blah-BBQ for dinner (no seconds allowed) and a lot of the leftover BBQ sausages for a sort-of-cooked-breakfast the next morning (no eggs!).

The race itself was really fun. Redbull do put on a good show and the announcer pre-race was super funny and entertaining while we were waiting for the generous noon-start time. A bunch of the people I was with were talking about running slow and short (this race there was no finish line – the finish line chases you) but as the gun went off most had a sudden change of heart and sprinted off trying to finish in the double digit kms.

Alex, Rhalou, and I hung back and kept pace with Mark Webber for a bit and generally running at a comfortable pace for our tired legs. Not using our previous week marathons (and ultra marathons) as an excuse, but just as a reality to what we were physically feeling.

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Rhalou and I made it 8km before we were caught up by the finish line and couldn’t have timed it better. We finished right beside the post-race party and within minutes had a beer in our hands on a sunny patio.

After the race there was a lot of talk in our group about time, pace, distance, speed, pain, etc. While I’m always impressed with people pushing their effort (and winning in the case of Kate & Tom!) I couldn’t help but feel after the race that was all anyone was talking about. I recently read a quote from one of the founders of Advent Running who said (something along the lines of) ‘time is the most boring part of a run.’ I too believe there are so many more interesting things about every single run you do than the time it took  you to do it. The icing on my emotional cake was when one person asked Rhalou and I how far we got and their reaction was “Only? You didn’t even get off the track?”

Yes, we only met a girl wearing the most amazing pair of leggings with ACTUAL JESUS ON THEM.

Yes, we only ate 2 packs of Haribos each at the generous aid station (and stuff a few in our bras just-in-case)

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Yes, we only ran with a world famous F1 driver

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Yes, we only thanked each volunteer along the route and took time to enjoy the scenery

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Yes, we only spent the afternoon on a sunny patio with an open bar

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Yes, we only smiled & laughed with good friends

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Everyone has a different reason to run and that reason can change day to day. I just think that time and distance isn’t the only thing we should talk about.

The race itself was great and I’d recommend it to anyone interested in doing a different style of race.  The open bar after was nice, but could have used a bit less beer (I never say that) and more food (there was nothing but fruit and popcorn – for a race that started at noon, we were hungry!) Plus, the party was at capacity before many people finished so I think it would be nice if they had an area reserved for runners whenever they finish.

Thanks to Redbull & Freestak for hosting & organising the weekend. My race place, transport, and room & board were given to me in exchange for promoting the race and writing about it after. 

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