Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the North
Claire Marie
Features Writer
4:14 AM 7th August 2021

My Midlife 10k - Part 5

After years as a mediocre jogger rather than a ‘proper’ runner, 40+ blogger Claire Marie is taking the plunge and attempting her first 10k. And she’s documented her journey for our readers.

The start line
The start line
I did it!!!!

Last weekend I ran the York 10k - the farthest I've ever run - and achieved a time of 1.14 which I'm beyond delighted with. The whole experience was massively uplifting and left me absolutely buzzing. Here are my highlights:

The start: There were 4,000+ runners, and being a tiny speck in that sea of people who came together for the love of running or a particular cause, felt very emotional. I loved hearing and feeling the crowd move steadily forward as the race began. Shortly after that, I spotted my Dad and my teenager Robbie, and am so happy they’re now part of that memory too.

Support: I have little to compare the run to in terms of support from the crowd, but wow, did the people of York deliver! Throughout the whole route, people lined the streets, from those outside their houses encouraging their kids to clap and cheer, to Sunday shoppers who abandoned their retail therapy in pursuit of our running therapy. But the ultimate highlight was the group of blokes in a pub on Micklegate blasting out Eye of the Tiger and hanging out of the window shouting (incidentally, some of the pubs were packed at 10.30am!).

Claire Marie finishes her first 10K
Claire Marie finishes her first 10K
Sense of achievement: At the risk of repeating myself, the prospect of running more than 7k in anything other than a fluke scenario has felt very alien to me throughout the many years I’ve run. But words of encouragement, wisdom and expertise from other runners and the fact that I was participating for an extremely deserving cause (Changing Lives UK) brought it into the realm of the possible rather than the impossible. I stuck to my plan - with excellent guidance from Marc, my running club coach - which was to get the 7k done in an hour at my usual steady pace then soup things up for the last 3k if there was anything left in the tank. And I was surprised to find there was. To have completed the run in a time I’m proud of and in pretty good nick having passed the finish line gives me a wonderful sense of accomplishment that isn’t going anywhere just yet.

The best advice I've had is:

"Don't stop - just keep running and do not stop." My nephew Alfie who's just been posted to a military base in Cyprus so knows a thing or two about fitness.

"If you're struggling, believe in yourself and you'll be surprised what you can achieve." My nephew Tommy who completed a 5k using his walking frame (you can read more from Tommy in my previous instalment).

"Make sure you look cute at the end as there's a photographer." Robbie.

If there's something you fancy doing that scares you a bit, there's only one thing stopping you doing it: YOU. Get advice from people you trust, have a plan, and bloody well go for it. It'll pay off in so many ways.

I can't think of a better way to spend a Sunday and I'm already planning my next one. 💛