Day 3 of the Tour of Merseyside arrives. Sarah and Baz are about to pass a massive milestone.
At the end of this event, they'll have covered 29 miles in three days, and will have hit the half way mark of the Tour.
Today is the Sustrans Cycle Trail. 10 miles. How did it go? Here's Sarah to tell us!
Today is the Sustrans Cycle Trail. 10 miles along an old railway line known locally as the Ralla.
Mark, my cousin, had offered to cook my tea and drive me there, as he only lives 10 minutes away, with the added bonus that I could use his massage bed. This is a proper hi-tech gizmo complete with different programmes and heat and vibrations. Yes. I made all the jokes you’re now making.
Weirdest thing in the world! But did feel like it had shaken off a bit of muscle tightness.
We made it in time for the briefing and managed to find Baz, for hugs and start line selfie.
I’ll admit I was dreading this one. I’m not a fan of out and backs, or flat routes – which this had the reputation for as well.
And I did find it tough. Not helped by going off too quick at the start - but in some ways this is a sign my pre-injury confidence is coming back.
I settled down into a better pace, and heard singing.
“Tomorrow, tomorrow, the sun’ll come out tomorrow!”
Three girls running together were having fun! As they caught me up, one of the girls, Clare, had a bit of banter with me as I’d overtaken her at the end in the last few races - I reassured her that was NOT going to happen today!
And then I got this race.
It might be a flat out and back, but what that meant was the faster runners were looping back, and the trail was full of shouts of ‘well done’, ‘you’re doing great’, ‘keep going’ both from the slower runners to the fast runners, but from the fast runners to the slower ones.
I managed to get a high five in with the Bloxwich Bolt Bazza going great guns and on for a PB.
One bit of the route tickled me. Just as we went through a long, dark tunnel there were two lads obviously ‘trading illicit goods’ looking totally confused by 300 runners streaming past what is usually a quiet place to do business!
One of the other things I liked about this race was occasionally groups would catch each other, chat and encourage, share stories and then carry on running their own race. Lovely bunch of people these Tourists.
I went through 5 miles and heard a massive cheer – there was Marie, Karen, Mick and Callum cheering me through my quickest 5 miles this year – they put a massive grin on my face.
The marshalls at the 5 mile turn around point were great – calling and cheering every runner – think we all looked tired and they gave a great boost, particularly the marshall who WAS the actual turn around point.
The last mile never ended. Or so it seemed. It was so tempting to just walk. But stubborn Sarah kicked in “you are NOT walking the last mile!”
And then with ¼ of a mile to go I spotted Shabba red. Baz had come back for me. I could have kissed him. All of a sudden I had enough to keep going. No sprint finish tonight, but a solid one.
I caught up properly with Baz – he’d got his PB – he’s smashing this event and making it look easy. SO proud of him.
I then caught up with Mark. His knees weren’t in good shape, and he was limping. There were some lovely physios offering free massages, so we said good bye to Baz and the excellent support crew, so Mark could get looked at.
The camaraderie, support and resilience of everyone involved in this event so far is wonderful – runners, organisers, volunteers and supporters. It truly is a wonderful event.
But I’m looking forward to rest day!