I thought this White Star Running thing deserved a whole blog post of its own as it is a bit special.
Over the years I have done loads of events, mostly mass participation stuff, and most of these have aid stations.
The bigger events tend to rope in local schools, scouts, army cadet units etc to stand there and hand out fluid of various sorts and sometimes gels while the smaller events tend to have a more informal approach.
The Round Sheffield Run had bananas, flapjack, gels, water & juice. The Tissington half marathon had water, juice, coke, cakes & biscuits. The Urban Trail series had ice creams (it was in the summer). All of these were great but essentially they are the same as the big races in that they are there to dispense something to give you energy and to get you going again albeit in a more friendly fashion.
And then there was the Lovestation.
Now, I had been told about this, I had read about it on FB, people sang its praises etc etc but the cynic in me still thought “well, its just an aid station” but I was wrong.
On the first pass I didn’t see anything special (but that was because it was just a water table), friendly people yes but nothing to make a fuss about (sorry) and I didn’t stop at the second aid station as I didn’t feel the need but on the way back at about 8miles it was different.
I was just starting to feel the lack of energy creep in so the Lovestation was a welcome sight, I was thinking I’d have some water and some sugar but I was seduced by the array of cakes on display and before I knew what I was doing I was halfway through a piece of Guinness cake and I had a tot of rum in my hand. I had a little chat about the race with the ladies behind the table and some of the other runners and then (as if by magic) another piece of cake & some cider made their way into my hands.
I eventually trundled off feeling like I had a bit more energy, both emotional & physical.
Now I have been reflecting on this a bit today. In previous half marathon events I have found myself running out of energy at the 8 or 9 mile mark and I have struggled more with this emotionally than physically. I have ended up in the ‘feeling very for myself, I want to give up, I need a little cry’ place in every event over 10km I have done and this has kicked in after 8miles following a running out of energy feeling.
I have tried fueling on the go with gels (dodgy guts), flat coke (made me sick), bananas (dodgy guts), peanut butter & chocolate (dodgy guts), haribo (made me sick), jelly babies (no effect but then I could only eat one or two without problems) and parma violet/loveheart type sweets (worked but needed loads), pork pies (don’t go there), bread (dodgy guts) etc etc
Anyway, this was the first event where I didn’t end up being an emotional wreck with dodgy guts at around 10miles, maybe it was the cake, maybe it was the booze, maybe it was stopping for a few minutes to eat properly, maybe it was the human contact, maybe it was all of these things. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that it was the Lovestation effect
Yes, I know I’ve been a bit gushing here but I do appreciate that there is more to the Lovestation than it being just a fancy aid station & it certainly helped me get through the race so thank you all 🙂