Monday, 3 September 2012

Running 24.4km of the Nurburgring

Friday 31st August
Along with the other runners I reported to the participant centre at the Nurburgring. The centre was warm, compared to the cold and wet outside, and had a brilliant atmosphere. It was full of eager and enthusiastic cyclists and runners. The event also involves a cycle race around the Nurburgring for any keen cyclists. Find out about Rad um Ring here.
Rad und Run!
It was easy to find where to sign in, and collect your runner bib and timing chip. Everyone was really helpful and friendly. We found out there were coupons on our runners bibs that we could tear off  for various freebies. One was for a goody bag, in an official Nurburgring run event green drawstring bag with lots of nice runners treats inside. The other coupons were for free pasta for dinner that evening, and a free bottle of Erdinger beer for that evening, as well as a coupon for an alcohol free Erdinger for the next day after finishing the run.

After the pasta and beer it was time to head back to the tent, to snuggle tightly in my sleeping bag and go to sleep.

Saturday 1st September We woke up at 6.15am. It was very cold and misty. Breakfast consisted of golden syrup flavoured porridge and about 1/2 a litre of orange squash. We headed to the ring for about 8am. There were around 1100 runners set to run the 24.4km route of the Green Hell. About 80% of them were men, with women dotted in between.

The atmosphere was exciting. Here I was, at 8.45am on a Saturday morning in September, ready to run round this world famous place. This was the place where in 1976, Niki Lauda was badly burnt when he crashed in his Ferrari, and was saved by four other heroic drivers. This was a special place that had seen many things. What a privilege to run on it.

Nice and early at the start!
A few kms in and the sun is breaking through the mist!
The first 10km of the run includes some steady inclines, and also some rather steep downhill sections. So apart from your knees taking the impact of the downhill, it's ok.

Yet, from about 11km to 16km you then have to complete hills that go as steep as a 16% incline. It's hard, it's tough but abour 3/4 of the way up the hilly part you get the reward of running Karrusel!
 After the hills I am still smiling!

After the highlight of Karrusel, you do unfortunatley hit some pretty steep twists and turns, 2 pretty major ones. One around 21-22km and one at 23km. Plus looking at a straight that seems to go on forever, you just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Along the way on this run there were many water statons with water, pepsi, sparkling water, sparkling apple, biscuits, banana, cereal bars etc. The drink and food stations were fully stocked if you happened to be wanting a feast. Which I have to say I didnt fancy. I have been training on having very little when I run long distances, so all I had for the whole run was a mouthful of water, 1/3 of a banana and a bite of a cereal bar.
The straight that just keeps going and going and going.....
It is lovely when you do a righter at the end of the straight and you can see the finish line and all the cheering people. To be rewarded with my medal at the end was just fantastic.

This was the best run I have ever done  and I know it would have made my Grampy smile to know I was doing it.

Cheers!!! The beer is alcohol free by the way but was really really good!

A proud moment!

The GPS map of the run :-)

It turned out I came 82nd out of 201 female runners, and I was the fastest woman representing Great Britain (even though there was just one other fellow female I wont brag too much about it). I finished the run in 2hrs and 28mins. It was 2hrs 28mins of my life that was truly amazing for many reasons, boosted by the money all my lovely sponsors have helped me to raise and the passion I have for two amazing causes.

Yes, it is an effort to run 24.4km's (15.25 miles). But I think of all the effort the two charities I am raising money for put in to the work that they do and my 'feat' seem very small. If you havent yet, you can read all about what Child Bereavement UK and Cancer Research UK and their amazing work in my previous blog.

Furthermore, The Child Bereavement Charity is now Child Bereavement UK. Yes, this is a charity that is growing, and you can support it by sponsoring me. Go on, be a part of it!!!

I want to say a BIG thank you to my husband, Andrew (below), who has supported me and looked after me this year. Without him, this would not have happened. I have run 810km so far. But the year is not over, I still have 190km to go.

Your support for Challenge 1000 would be amazing, you can sponsor me by visiting my Virgin Money Giving page.
Thank you to my wonderful husband

Also a final note on to the end of this blog. On the 28th August I became an Auntie to my beautiful niece, Libby, who I finally met on the Sunday after the big run. She is incredibly cute!  
The Libster!!!

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