Any one that knows Poplar Running Club knows that we like to show up on force and Sunday 27th September 2015 was no exception. A field in the middle of Nottingham doesn’t sound a great place to be on a foggy and cold morning until you see lots of other people looking just as nervous and excited as you all dressed in black and orange. We assembled in front of our flag and more and more of us started to appear.
Lots of us had different reasons to be there. If like me it was your first half marathon and you were scared stiff, you had a charity close to your heart you support, aiming to beat a personal best or just for a run out with your friends on a Sunday morning there wasn’t a better bunch of people I could hope to see running with me. I have only been running with the club for just over a year and can’t believe the amount of first time half marathon runners we managed to gather.
The day started off foggy and cold and ended up glorious sunshine! It did get a little too hot for my liking around mile twelve but I knew there wasn’t long to go.
The one thing no other club will ever beat for me is the level of support we give one another, even if we have never met before. To see everyone cheering you on and shouting your name is something pretty special. Especially all the family members that come and join in too.
Before the race we had our traditional pre-race photo and trust me to be the only one looking the wrong way! I do get away with it though as I know a few people didn’t even make it into the photo. Thanks to Marc for being there to do all the pictures, I know we all enjoy looking at them afterwards.
The start of the race did cause a couple of problems for some people getting stuck in traffic of slower runners. My own personal race was fantastic. I hadn’t properly trained and I was really happy with how I did. I have my running buddy Helen to thank for that. The scenery was very pretty, only two (very big) hills to conquer and a quick chat with Gem 106’s Amy on the way round and suddenly we were at the finish line.
I also got to see a few of the marathon finishers as well which was great as when we all run the same distance they are miles in front of me.
Some of the stories of our club members are great:-
Nicola Holmes: Nicola is our club Ladies captain. She is always good for a bit of running inspiration and this time was no different. She needed to pull out a fast time to qualify as good for age for 2017 London Marathon having already gained her place for next year. Not only did she qualify but she absolutely smashed it, showing once again why we voted for her. She needed a time of 3.45 and came home with a 3.27! I watched her over the finish line and she looked like it was a walk in the park. The bad news for her is she is only 12, yes 12, minutes off ELITE time for London which is her dream! So if any of you know any way to help her gain this she would be more than willing to hear from you.
Lee Dawson: Our boss man! Having run the Equinox solo challenge the week before Lee had been deliberating on Facebook all week whether to actually join us, and we are so glad he did. He may not be overly impressed with his time but we are all amazingly proud of him, clocking up 103 miles in 7 days. Without him this club would not exist and their pride was shown by all the people helping him and cheering him on near the finish line.
Damo Pedge: Damo had set himself a target of running 300km in 30 days. He may be a little mad but we all know he will do it. Damo is a big supporter of LOROS and has been fundraising for them for years after they cared for his father and helped his father when he was sick. LOROS were asking people to do 30 miles in 30 days and that was just not enough for him so he decided on 300km instead! He is well on his way to his target.
Roger Clarke: Roger had made the decision to train for his first marathon and during the process his wife was sadly diagnosed with Multiple sclerosis after falling ill. He then decided that he would run to raise money for the MS society and managed to raise £450. He struggled a little during the race but he battled through to be cheered home by the fantastic crowd.
Leanne Moreland: Leanne had set herself a goal to run a half marathon and joined Pops to gain a bit of inspiration and some running buddies. She decided to run for a charity and rainbows was her charity of choice. She has currently raised about £400.
Pip Mattock, Rachel Olivet and Casey Limmage: These guys all ran for a local charity supporting one of their friend’s children, Junior, who has cerebral palsy. The family need to raise £60,000 for life changing surgery in America. Together they have raised over £600. Pip was on her first half marathon and Casey his first full marathon.
Ryan Sharp: Ryan is certainly following in his dads footsteps and becoming the newest pop star. He is one of our youngest runners and also one of the youngest to run the half marathon. He did a fantastic job and I know he is very good at inspiring fellow runners along the way.
Every pop that joined in has something to be proud of and we all have our own goals that we reached. Lots of people like Justin O’Brien, Martin Button and Bec Holmes got a Pb, she knocked 45 minutes off her best marathon time (WOW!!!), and overall it was an amazing day with the club. I know I can’t wait for my next go. The photos show just how much fun we had and hopefully we will be back next year with even more pops to join in!