So October saw two running challenges in the space of 2 weeks…although this later run was not intended to be a physical challenge for me, as I was joined by my two girls for their first run.
The Big Fun Run is a series of non- timed events all over the Country, so it really is aimed at anyone looking for a family focused event or a way to get in to running, without the pressure of one of the bigger events.
So Lily (6), Maisy (5) and I signed up for the event in Milton Keynes, which was the most local for us and in summary this was a good event, albiet a little quiet, but all of this creates a more relaxed feel – perfect for my little ones.
There is a hub at the start / finish location where the runners gather ahead of a group warm up. This 10 minute warm up was fun and certainly got my kids more relaxed. Following this everyone was moved on to the starting straight where we were given clear instructions for the faster runners to be at the front – it is not a timed event, so again the point is to have fun. An MC moved through the crowds talking to some of the runners raising money, which was nice to hear some of the other runners stories.
After the start there was a sharp, narrow right turn on to the pathways – which was a little congested. This would probably be my only criticism of the event, as this became quite congested and for little runners was a bit of a squash. That said, we were through quickly and on our way.
The route is a loop around Willen Lake and takes you from the Lakeside Lawn, next to the water sports centre and then loops around the South and North lakes. There is only one real hill on the course, where you go up past the Peace Pagoda and on to the North Lake – it’s a test for little legs and we ended up walking that section.
The event was well signposted and marshalled, with clear directional arrows where there were path junctions and turns. Every km was also sign posted, which meant the girls had a good idea of where they were and how long was left, as they understood it was a 5k run – so while they aren’t old enough to really appreciate how far a kilometre is, it at least made broke the run down in to chunks in their minds I think.
It was by no means the most spectated run I’ve attended but there was a good crowd, particularly at the start / finish section, where the MC greeted each runner which is a nice touch. Once the girls could see the finish they wanted to run again and sprinted down the finish straight, leaving me to shamble over the line behind them. We received out medals and a goodie back, which consisted of a bottle of water, water bottle and scarf, and of course out Big Fun Run medals.
Parking was ample and reasonably priced, considering the size of the event and the fact that it’s a fairly busy destination for locals on a day out / walk.
A good day out was had by all and the challenge was completed as a family, which was the main thing for me.
It is now just 1 month to go until probably the biggest challenge to date – a 9 day, solo and unsupported, cycle down the length of the country from John O’Groats to Land’s End.
If you would like to donate to Guy’s fundraising efforts, in aid of Make-A-Wish UK then please visit www.justgiving.com/milesforwishes