Thursday, 3 March 2011

Day 8 - 14 miles

The finish line in Cardiff
Just a short plod into Cardiff from yesterday's finish point West Aberthaw.

I got up early and it was a mad dash to get everything and everyone into the car and en route for the start. My husband and sons were my support crew for the day. Unlike any other day so far I also had company for the whole run from Women's Running Network runners and leaders and one of the charity workers.

I met Gayle in Gileston standing on the side of the road. I had massaged my legs and taped my feet whilst sat in a traffic jam on the M4, goodness knows what the other motorists thought I was doing! Apparently whilst waiting for me to arrive Gayle had met a couple of villagers, who stopped her and asked if she were with the runner who finished here last night. I was the talk of the village! Which was handy, as Gayle was able to knock on one of the villager's doors and ask if I was able to use their toilet before we left. Thank goodness I'd caused a stir.

The route this morning was definitely the least scenic start I'd had so far, as it was a major A road around Cardiff airport. There were a lot of huge trucks and white vans intent it seemed on getting somewhere very fast. For the first time I had drivers gesturing for me to get off the road. Although I had as much right to be there as they did, I would much rather have been running on quiet country lanes, but I had somewhere I needed to be, and this was the quickest way to get there, so I concentrated hard on staying upright and negotiating the roundabouts as safely as possible.

After 6 miles or so Gayle left me, and I met Amy from Swansea Women's Aid. It was lovely to have so many new people to talk to, and the next few miles went quickly. Amy mentioned that she had not been running for very long, so the hill we did in Dinas Powys was her first! She did brilliantly.

In Dinas we were met by Erika and runners from her group, some of whom had taken the time off work to be there. They brought not only a donation for the charities, but also a large banner, which in the icy wind today was very brave of them to carry all the way into Cardiff. After a quick refuel we were off on the final leg of what had been an amazing week.

In Cardiff centre, there was a manic half hour whilst we loitered in various supermarkets and museums until the finish line was set up properly and we then ran round the corner into Roald Dahl Plas with Erika's group following holding the banner stating the mileage I'd completed, and I finished my 8 day run with as much of a sprint finish as I could muster. Quite surreal.

Glad to see my family again.
It was lovely to see so many people there. Wayne and Clare my sports massage therapists, my family including my Mum and Dad, representatives from the charities, as well as some of the charities' service users, the people I was really running for. A few friends who worked in Cardiff had also come along, which was lovely. What was most bizarre was a group of 8-9 people in white hoodies who all came along to cheer. One of them introduced himself at the end as a group who were doing exactly the same run as I had just completed but up and back. The only difference being they were running it as a relay, so I think they were a bit surprised to find I had run it on my own.

After tea, cakes, photos and speeches it was back to normal life.

I've had my burger and chips, my huge bowl of cereal, a decent cup of tea and a shower. I am too tired to talk right now, but I have had the most amazing week. It's difficult to express how astonishing and wonderful the experience has been. I don't have a big enough repertoire of superlatives to describe it adequately. What I can say though is, I want to do it all again!


  1. Well done Fin, you did it! Félicitations, you mad woman!