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cheering

Exciting blog post klaxon!! I have an early Christmas present for one lucky reader – free entry to the Leeds Christmas 10k.

You may remember that last year I marshalled this event and had a grand old time cheering on the runners on a very cold November morning. Well to say thank you the organisers have given me a free entry for this year’s race, but I’m passing on the Christmas spirit and giving it away to one of my lovely readers!

I ran the inaugural Leeds Christmas 10k in 2012 and it was a tough course, but a very enjoyable event. The organisation was splendid, and we got a t-shirt and a mince pie at the end. Last year the conditions were a bit nicer than the ice we had that first year, but it was still chilly and hilly! It’s a really fun race with plenty of support, and definitely not just for serious runners – fancy dress is very much encouraged!

You can find out more at the Leeds Christmas 10k website.

Entering the competition is really easy – just click the link through to Rafflecopter below. Of course, it will help if you live in or can get to Leeds easily as there is no transport or accommodation offered (well, you could possibly sleep on my sofa!). The winner will be announced as soon as possible after the closing date of October 5th.

Good luck and I’ll see you on the course somewhere (I’ll be the crazy marshal making all the noise).

Leeds Christmas 10k giveaway

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That was my weekend!

On Saturday I went to Cross Flatts parkrun for the first time. I am competing in the Leeds Race Series and points can be gained at each of our four parkruns in Leeds over certain weeks. Cross Flatts Park is a great venue, and it has a much smaller field of runners than our other parkruns, which means it is easier to get a good start and go straight into your pace.

I wasn’t too sure about the course or its PB potential so I just headed out at what felt good and took it from there. Because there weren’t as many runners there were far fewer opportunities for chatting along the way, but that was fine – I had one headphone in and I just thought about my feet.

The route was pleasant and there is only a small incline with a few steps in the middle. I’ll be back at the end of the month for my last PB attempt of 2013.

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On Sunday I marshalled at the Leeds Christmas 10k. I ran this race last year and really enjoyed it, but as I have done so much recently I decided I would go along to help out. The fact that fancy dress and being loud was a job requirement also helped my decision.

I rocked up to the John Charles Stadium where the race started and finished and found a lovely bunch of people all there to ensure the race went smoothly. We assembled in the announcer’s box at the top of the stand, where we had plenty of goodies to keep us going.

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My marshal point was about half way round the circuit in the woods, of which the runners did three laps before returning to finish at the stadium. The lead runners got to me in under 10 minutes, and after that there was a constant stream of them for over an hour.

I greeted them looking like this, and making a lot of noise.

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I channeled my inner Morris dancer and pinned bells to my legs, then I had a pom-pom in one hand and a tambourine in the other. Add in my purple Santa hat, hi-vis vest and jumping around and shouting rather manically I must have been quite a shock as they came along the path towards me the first time. By the third lap I fear some runners may have been going slightly deaf! But hopefully they also appreciated my efforts to help keep them going. Several people commented that they were glad of my energy and enthusiasm, especially as I was just at the bottom of a short hill. I ran up the hill quite a few times with some of the runners. Oh, and I saw several Father Christmases, all of whom promised to bring me kittens!

I finished my shift very tired but having had a wonderful time. The lovely organisers even gave us a race tee for helping out.

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I can highly recommend this race – either to run or to marshal. It is a challenging course, but there are mince pies at the finish so you have to earn them! Big thanks to the organisers for their hard work in creating a great event, and also well done to my fellow Kirkstall Harriers who took part.