Put your running shoes on and have some fun on the road!!!!

November 9, 2016
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After taking a 4-year break from long-distance running, I decided to hit the road again. I entered the IRENE Triple Challenge on 10th February. It kicked off with the 10km Spar Irene Lantern race in February. Truly a race that every should endeavour to do at least once in their lifetime. With only training from spinning I managed to complete the race in 51 minutes.

The second leg of the Triple Challenge commenced at 06:00 on 24th September. What a brilliant way to celebrate our Heritage Day! Still counting hard on fitness, mostly gained from spinning, I attempted the Clover Irene Spring Race (21.1km). I managed to complete this half-marathon in 1hour 53 minutes. It was a pretty flat route but tough enough.

The last leg of the Triple Challenge, the King Price Irene Farm Challenge, finally arrived on 29th October. A race I dreaded for 2 reasons. It was mostly uphill and my old knee injury started acting up again. I considered pulling out the week before the race. It would have been wise but as most hardcore runners I decided I was tough enough to do it. With strapped up knees I set off with over a thousand other runners.

10 minutes into the race my right knee left me in agony. I strapped my knee up even tighter. The pain came and went. This is where a race becomes more mental than physical. You rely on your fitness and years of experience as an athlete. You talk yourself through every kilometre stretched out in front of you.

The race turned out to be quite a scenic. We ran through a few Irene Residential Estates, the Irene dairy and poultry science centres. We even got the chance to run across a beautiful golf course. It was easy to get lost in the surrounding beauty. It made the race so much more enjoyable and slightly easier.

I thank God that my knee held for 21.1 km. I had to run slower, putting more weight on my left leg near the end. I managed to finish after 2 hour 5minutes. The feeling of accomplishment I felt when I crossed that finishing line cannot be explained in words. My knee did not give in. I did not give up.

This is why I love running so much. Even my daughter who ran the 1km Irene Kids Run on the day got bitten by the running bug. It’s hard but that feeling of accomplishment at the end is so worth it! It gives you freedom. It lifts your spirit. It makes you feel strong. It’s an adrenaline rush from beginning to end.

Petro Parry
Charter College Educator

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