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People power: Osterley 10K race report

Some of our finishers with their hard-earned race medals.

It was a crisp morning as everyone gathered together at Osterley Park for the winter edition of their 10km race. Ten Hoopsters had already run the parkrun, with eight of them going on to do the double (It’s a warm up, right??)

Having let my training slide a little after my last marathon, I wasn’t feeling particularly fit and had decided to just take it easy for this run. But, after chatting with everyone as we took to the start line, I decided to run with the girls for as long could and then slow down when I couldn’t take it any more.

Several Hoopsters completed Osterley parkrun (above) before taking on the 10k!

We set off at what would have been my PB pace. I knew I couldn’t keep it up for the whole race, but really wanted to stay with the group.

THEN I felt it… the unmistakable slap of untied laces. We were only about 800m in, so I couldn’t just leave them, and pulled over to the side to re-tie them.

It’s amazing how fast you realise people are going past you when you stop and are at foot level! I had to work so hard to catch up with everyone again that I was already shattered and not even 1km in!

I was really starting to struggle to keep up with the pack, but kept saying to myself: "Just stay with them until the next kilometre marker and then you can slow down.’ I’ve never run in a group like this before and was absolutely loving it! It was so great to be surrounded by friends and have different people to chat to around the course. They were keeping me going when I wasn’t feeling that strong and I wanted to keep that feeling for as long as possible.

Then, at around 8km, something amazing happened! Jojo grabbed a bottle of water for us to share and I had a sudden burst of energy. We started to pick up the pace and pushed harder. It wasn’t until we turned onto the final straight that I realised that I might be on for a PB… GO GO GO!!!

I sprinted as hard as I could and, alongside Jojo, crossed the finish line in 47mins 50secs… a 22 second PB! I couldn’t believe it!

I was so happy and I owe it all to Jojo, Natalie, Melanie and Amelia! If I had been running on my own, there was no way I would have even started at a fast enough pace to get a PB, let alone keep it up for the whole duration. They distracted me when I was hurting, gave me something to aim for when I was struggling and made me feel part of something more than just myself. And I wasn’t the only one to PB either… Melanie ran a best of 48:27 and so did Charlie in 52:28, running with Susan—spurring each other on!

Never underestimate the power of a group!

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