Michael’s Movers Millport 10 Miler Race Re-cap

On Saturday, I ran the Michael’s Movers 10 mile race round the Island of Cumbrae. This is a very friendly event organised by the Michael’s Movers Charity. Michael’s Movers provides support for people with Parkinsons disease and their carers. The race is very well organised with marshals all around the course, not to mention cars en-route to check everything is okay. There are  water stops (3, 5 and 8 miles) and very friendly support all the way round. I picked up a jelly baby from a tray being held by a Dad and little boy at 8 miles! The race is not chip timed, so if you want accurate timing including splits etc, you have to wear your own device. There are no official finishing positions either. (Although prizes were awarded to the first three finishers.) The race is reasonably priced at £25. The proceeds all go to the charity. The finisher bag includes a medal, t-shirt, water, Mars Bar and some shampoo and conditioner! Your race number also gives you a 15% discount from Run4It. Wonderful homebaking and cups of tea were also available at the finish line.The changing facilities are okay, but a definite gripe was the lack of female toilets. The queue was fairly extensive and I (like many other of the ladies) ended up nipping into the gents cubicle for a quick pre race pee. After the race, the changing area was thankfully much quieter and I had no issues with toilet queues!

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The weather was very kind to us on Saturday with bright skies, not too warm, and minimal wind. This lovely weather brought out a lot of daytrippers which meant the ferry to Cumbrae was quite busy. The bus at the other side was also fairly packed. Fortunately I made it there in adequate time, but I imagine that the race capacity of 500 may be reached in future years as the event becomes more popular. The relaxed atmosphere lends the event to being a fun run if you wish (or even a walk) or it can be taken as a serious pb attempt.

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I was definitely taking this one seriously. I don’t take part in enough events to do otherwise and really set out with targets in mind. This time, I took the advice of having an A, B and C goal. This is a really sound idea as it takes into account the realities of having a bit of an off day, potential bad weather, a bad night’s sleep or whatever. My A goal was 1hour 15 minutes. I knew this would require me to average 7 and a half minute miles so didn’t have majorly high expectations, though I thought it doable. My C goal was 1 hour 20 minutes (8 minute miles) and my B goal was somewhere in between 1.15 and 1.20. My training cycle felt good and I have felt strong in recent weeks so I was looking forward to seeing what I could do on the day.

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Honestly, from the start to finish, this race felt like one of those magical days in running where everything just feels right. I felt comfortable and able to keep pushing right through the run. If I could bottle whatever the magic is or know exactly what I did right in the days and weeks in the lead up to the race I would write it down and replicate it every time. I had my eye on my watch most of the way and was having a bit of internal debate with myself at first over whether I should slow down. “Cam your jets” I was thinking. I was scared of burning out, but I realised fairly soon that I was going to be able to maintain the pace I was working at . For the first time, I connected my Garmin to the laptop so I could see my splits in all their glory and I loved looking at all the data in more detail.

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I set off very fast with 7.21 for my first mile. Thereafter I settled into a steady pace with not too much variation between the miles.It was only really when I hit mile 9 that I calculated that my A goal of 1.15 was achievable. I went almost all out in the last mile and definitely all out in the last quarter of a mile. I had to weave slightly to avoid pedestrians on the prom in the home stretch, but again it was one of those special times as a runner when I felt like I was flying. I didn’t know I had a 6.39 mile in me! This effort in the last mile meant I achieved my A goal with 27 seconds to spare. I couldn’t have asked for a better result.

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Billy is in this one too 🙂additional finish

The weather turned out great and if it hadn’t been for a busy birthday weekend we might have made a day of it. Billy came over to the island with the boys just after the race start and we left pretty sharpish afterwards. I don’t feel I have quite recovered leg wise a week later so I’m not sure I would be fit to race anything like on a weekly basis. I definitely want to get another one planned soon, though!

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