On Sunday 29th January 2023, I ran in the Stockport Daffodil 10k 🌼 organised by the wonderful Sports Feet running shop in Hazel Grove... And it was AMAZING!
I just want to start by bigging up the event organisation – it was absolutely second-to-none! I genuinely couldn’t believe that this was only the event’s second year running (... Going in with the puns early today! 🏃🏻♀️🤣)
The time and money that must have gone into the Daffodil 10k 🌼 was staggering.
Something that struck me as a really lovely personal touch was the fact that every goodie bag had the individual race numbers hand-written on them. This was just one of the little things that stood out; that task alone must have taken hours.
The best post-race goodie bag I have ever received was at the brilliant Marple 10k Trail Run last year, whereby I was delighted with a nostalgic copy of the Beano! The goodie bags at the Daffodil 10k 🌼 were also up there with the best. The bubble bath was a very thoughtful staple, and I was thrilled with my running socks – things I will genuinely use.
The Freddo bar in particular was a much-appreciated sugar-boost at the end of the run (funding 1,100 of those can’t have been cheap either, as we’re all sadly too aware!) 🤣🤑
The Stockport Daffodil 10k 🌼 was my first race of the year, and I enjoyed it immensely.
After the recent testing weather, it was actually just nice to be able to get out and run again.
Nothing restores your love for running like a few days of enforced rest!
Last week, I blogged about the sheer inconvenience of the ice and snow. Being the drama queen I am, I genuinely convinced myself that I’d never run again. 🙄🤣
I sat on the window ledge, hunched over like Kermit the Frog, glaring out at the ice while passive-aggressively peeling Baby Bells.
“That’s it,” I said to Josh. “The infinite big freeze has hit. I don’t think it’s ever going to thaw. I’ll never run again.”
Josh didn’t entertain my amateur-dramatics, but simply replied, “You are not buying a treadmill.”
I spent the rest of the evening sulking, walking laps of the living room with my hula-hoop around my waist, spinning forlornly. Maybe I did accidentally-on-purpose hoop in-front of the TV during an integral part of the football...
Jokes aside, not running when you’re a runner is hard – harder than those who don’t run care to understand.
We all run for different reasons, but I think it’s safe to say that many of us find a safe and indescribably joyous space within it. When this is taken away from us, it can be difficult to adjust, even if that period of absence only spans over a few days.
Of course, there are other options for us to get out and about, such as heading to the gym, but it’s really not the same. For me, there is no comparison between being out running in the elements and repetitively pounding a treadmill.
When the ice eventually did melt away, I was more than relieved to get my running shoes back on and focus on the impending Daffodil 10k. 🌼
Prior to the Daffodil 10k 🌼, my last running event was the Wilmslow Festive 10k at the end of November, so that’s almost two months away from my happiest place.
There is nothing quite like race day. I love watching the event unfold and the atmosphere build. It’s so uplifting to be around so many like-minded people.
I often say this, but I really do think that us runners have a special, unspoken bond. We just get each other.
I sat in the little shelter for a while before the race, and immersed myself in the chatter.
“Did you do the Stockport 10 Mile?”
“The Lyme Park 10k Trail Run was a killer, wasn’t it?!”
“I think the most beautiful route I have ever run was at the Colshaw Hall 10k.”
When I run, the rest of the world is so blissfully put on mute, and this is especially true when I attend running events. For an hour or so, I needn’t think or worry about anything. Running is, wonderfully, all that matters.
Running is my absolute everything, and I am so, so fortunate to be a part of this tribe.
There were some incredible runners out at the Daffodil 10k 🌼, so I knew I didn’t stand much of a chance of placing in the top 10 females. I dubiously told myself that I would try and aim for a place in the top 20 female finishers instead.
The route was really great and I genuinely can’t wait to get back on that course again next year!
The thing I like about out-and-backs is that you get to see all of the other runners in action. It’s always fantastic to watch the elites doing their thing, and equally inspiring to hear people cheering on their friends and teammates running in the opposite direction.
I have to say that the atmosphere out on the course at the Stockport Daffodil 10k 🌼 was quite possibly the best I have ever witnessed. The cheering from both the marshals and my fellow runners was just out of this world! It made my heart all happy. 🥺❤️
The bypass was the perfect terrain for a speedy run, and I liked that from the elevated spots, you could look out at the Lyme Park hills on the horizon. The course beheld a really good mix of terrain and scenery. It really was a very unique run, and one I can definitely see growing in much-deserved popularity as the years go on.
And, um... Well, the less said about that charming hill the better... 🤣
This is honestly the only photo I have ever seen of me running and NOT smiling, and I know exactly why! I had just clocked 'that' hill standing between myself and the finishing arch 😥🤣
I finished the race with a chip time of 42:21, placing me 15th female out of 491, and 108th out of 1030 overall.
While I was pleasantly surprised with my position, don’t get me started on my time... Seriously, what is going on?! 🤣
Try as I might, I just cannot get past that stubborn 42 minute barrier! My previous PB of 40:24 feels like another lifetime, and my goal of running sub-40 seems as likely as my marriage to Richard Madden. 🙄
But as I am fast learning, it doesn’t actually really matter about the times. What’s so bad about a two minute increase on a PB when that just essentially means two extra minutes out there in the heart of the event? Two extra minutes working with my body, instead of against it. Two extra minutes of unrivalled happiness.
The truth is, no matter the result, there is no place I would rather be. ❤️🏃🏻♀️
Cara Jasmine Bradley
🌼 Stockport Daffodil 10k 🌼 https://www.stockportdaffodil10k.co.uk