It was 845 on a cold wet Sunday morning, what was I doing!! oh yes I was running my first ever 10k race after joining STAC beginners 6 months before and I was running it with my best friends that I had made. We had all trained so hard for this and we all had times in mind that we wanted to achieve. Myself and all the rest of the STAC team that were running that day all gathered on the town hall steps proudly wearing our STAC kit awaiting the club photo. After the photo we all made our way down to the starting area, a few of us nipped to the loos, others gathered in their respective pens. Before long we were all setting off, off we walked down to the start line. That was it we were off!!
Smaller than usual turnout for the Abbey Dash team photo – blame the weather!
We all run at different paces but generally we are partnered up i was with Debbie. We knew we had to start steady and try not to go too fast. Up Kirkstall road we went, it seemed to take forever, along the way we were looking out for our fellow runners (the fast ones!!) passing down the other way soon we saw them and cheered them along as they passed us. As we got to the traffic lights just before the cinema complex we saw Peter supporting all the STAC team. Off we went around the cinema car park and back out on to Kirkstall road, at this point all I could think was how much further is the Abbey!!
All the time as we running up to the Abbey we were STAC spotting this seemed to pass the time but also showed us what great support we are to each other, only having joined STAC and not really knowing many people it was fantastic that they were waving at us and shouting encouragements as they passed us, what a great running club we had joined. Me and Debbie kept each other going this is what we were all about.
Eventually we reached the abbey turned around and set back off towards Leeds. The K’s soon passed and before I knew it I was at the 8k point and there was Peter again! waiting for us all to pass cheering us on telling us we were nearly home. At this point I hit a wall and had to walk I told Debbie to leave me and carry on we are on for under 1hr 15 which was our aim, I said “don’t wait for me you carry on”, she argued for a bit but after a few minutes she was off. I was alone I hate running alone but I knew I had to finish this. Just a few 100 yards later Geoff came at the side of me and said “come on you can do this, stay with me and we will get there”. Next I remember seeing Sara and Joanne on the hill saying come on your nearly there, it was wonderful to see them especially Sara as she has helped us with training for this and supported us all along the way. I thought I have nearly done it. Geoff said “have you anything left”, I replied “no” so we came through the finish line hand in hand. It was a fantastic moment for me, I had done it!! I had gone from not been able to run for a bus to running 10k in 6 months. I have to say I could not have done the last 2k without Geoff. A picture was taken to capture this moment and I will treasure this. At the finish line were all the girls that had finished waiting for us all to come in we had all done it, it was an emotional moment but we were all so proud of each other . It was an amazing feeling to have accomplished this and with all my fellow graduates/my best friends. I have made friends for life and am proud to be part of STAC. Thank you to all that have helped us along the way especially Karen, Nicki, Graham, Peter and Sara we couldn’t have done this without you. After the race had finished and we were all in we made our way to the German Market for the STAC debrief, where we joined all the other STAC family drinking, beer, and hot chocolate before heading home. What an amazing day!!
Graduates celebrate their first Abbey Dash
I thought I would end the race report with a little something from all the graduates on what the Abbey Dash meant for them so here you go –
Jayne- Stood in the pen ready for the abbey dash 2015 to start, my stomach was churning, i felt faint but I was with my best friends, friends who had supported me through thick and thin and had encouraged me as I had them. Friends who knew exactly what i was feeling as they felt the same. Friends who I knew wanted me to do well as they did themselves, and the feeling was mutual. And so we start, well they say listen to the experts, the experts say don’t go out too fast, go steady they said. But all that training and despite feeling nauseous (which apparently is normal) I was ready to go. And so off we went, the starting line was amazing I loved it!! Then brick wall at 2k i gave up i had nothing left. Yes, I had started too fast, dam those experts!! My true diva came out and i stopped, i gave up, sat on a wall, wondering how i could get back. Not my finest moment. A voice “oi what are you doing”. I waved them on but my fellow grad, young, beautiful and kind Kayleigh was not letting me. Come on Jayne she said, we are in this together, just take it easy she said I will do it with you. A true angel when I needed one. That’s all the push I needed i was off again, the rest of the run i was back, and the run was one of the greatest experiences of my lifetime. Chants of encouragements from the bystanders, support from the STAC team , seeing friends and family was amazing, even managed to sprint finish and by my finishing photo you would think i had won! Amazing day amazing people. Thankful to my STAC family and the day I said yes to the beginners course.
Kim – When I started the beginners course in April and struggled even running a few minutes, i would have never thought i could run 10k let alone enjoy it !!! I can’t wait for the next one
Debbie – Had an amazing run participating in the Abbey Dash, emotions were high on the finishing line. When we all started the beginners course in \April 10 steps proved difficult so 10k was just awesome. The support from the club and my running pals has been amazing during my running journey.
Claire – Emotional a real sense of achievement for myself and for all my new friends.
HAZEL – Abbey dash was the race we had all been aiming towards as graduates, we all doubted ourselves from time to time but together we all achieved it and the feeling of accomplishment and pride was amazing, not only for our own achievement but also for all of us as a group. Love my STAC family.
Louise – all that training in the cold, wet dark nights really paid off when we all crossed the finishing line achieving our own personal goals. Completing the race after being cheered on and supported by fellow STAC’s and total strangers along the route made Abbey Dash a great race to run.
Alison C- Could not have done the Abbey Dash without all of the weeks training we have all been doing with STAC. It was the main of the graduates of 2015. We all tried our best and conquered our first big race.
Alison H – Wow what a journey these last 6 months have been from joining STAC beginners course in April when running for 1 minute seemed like a challenge to running 10k in the Abbey Dash as a member of the amazing STAC! What made it extra special was running it with all the girls in our little graduates family! We have all come such a long way and have had our ups and downs but we did it! I loved the Abbey Dash, the atmosphere was great with lots of STAC support. bring on next year!!
Sharon – My first Abbey Dash and official 10k would not have been achieved without the support and encouragement from other STAC friends.
Kay – Well what can I say I never thought i would be running 10k’s never mind making friends for life who got me through the Abbey Dash.
Thank You STAC you are an amazing club and we are all so proud to be part of the family !!!