My first medal!! Sort of. I’m excluding the Race For Life 2013 one because that was a disaster and I didn’t run much of it. This is my first medal as the new me.
I had no idea what to expect. I had an inkling that some of the run was on the actual beach, and was pretty nervous about running on sand. It’s not easy to walk on! Turns out, the whole 5km is on the beach. All of it. In a kind of zig zag down to the sea and back up again, twice. It’s a boring route. It’s basically round and around the same area over and over. If it wasn’t for the paint throwing and the general atmosphere of so many people running at once, you would never choose to run that route. It was bloody hard work. Really hard. The first part was really soft, and my ankles turned over several times. One of the times was quite painful and slowed me down for a while. Then there were hard bits that weren’t too bad. But there were really wet splashy bits too! Despite being quite hard going, it was a lot of fun. There were colour stations dotted along the route, and each station had a bunch of volunteers throwing a different colour of powder paint over you. Some of them even had big paint blowing machines. It goes in your eyes and nose and mouth, and I found myself holding my breath quite a bit to avoid inhaling it!
I caught up with a couple of my friends right at the end, who usually run much faster than me but had struggled with an injury, and they started sprinting so I did too! I crossed the finish line completely exhausted and totally out of breath. The paint all over my face hid the fact that I was bright red though. I was actually mostly orange with yellow hair!
I’d do the run again in a heartbeat. I had such a good time! We raised quite a bit for Tŷ Hafan too, which makes it all feel even better. I finished in 41:19, which is between my two Park Run times. I’m pretty pleased with it considering the sand was so hard to run on!
On Sunday, in the rain, we hopped in the car to Barry Island. We love the beach! Especially Seb, who has no fear of the sea whatsoever. In summer we have to find dog-friendly beaches (Newton Bay – Porthcawl is our favourite) but once September starts dogs are allowed on most beaches. Even the really popular touristy ones like Barry Island.
Obviously at this time of year not much is going on, and even the pleasure park is closed. Frankly I don’t think this is a bad thing. It’s beaten up and worn out anyway. The log flume looks like it might just crumble away, and I’m told it’s been closed for many years. Seems bonkers really, when Gavin and Stacey has made it so famous.
We weren’t there for amusements anyway. We were there to paddle in the sea and let Seb have a swim. It was raining on our way there (as usual) but we don’t let that put us off. Thankfully the sun did make an appearance, but it remained bitterly cold.
One child fell over into the sea and the other one took off one welly and one sock (I still don’t know why), and Iris slept. In lots of layers and inside my jumper. She was probably lovely and snug. The rest of us were freezing. Even Seb was shaking like a leaf, but it didn’t put him off.
It’s strange now to think back to the days, just a few months ago, when Seb wouldn’t go near water.
After drying off we headed towards the cafés and arcades and had a Sunday lunch of chips, burgers and chicken nuggets. The kids told jokes. Why did the dog lie in front of the fire? He wanted to be a hot dog!
After fighting a few fires and hooking some ducks, it was time to hop in the car and take the big kids back to their mum, which is always our least favourite part of the weekend.