What a Buzz! Run Norwich 10k is now one of city's top events
PUBLISHED: 18:38 21 July 2019 | UPDATED: 18:38 21 July 2019
Nick Richards says everyone who took part in Sunday's Run Norwich 10k - both runners and organisers - should feel proud they've helped make the event one of the best on offer in the city
How are the legs?
Hopefully any strains, aches or niggles will soon start to fade as the warm glow more than 6,000 of you will feel today takes over.
For the fifth year in a row Norwich proudly came together to put on a running carnival and what a fabulous day to be involved in such a great event.
There's certainly something special about taking part in any city centre occasion, particularly one that means roads are closed, crowds line the route and the support they give is unbelievable.
At the front end, the elite runners put on a great spectacle with 10k times thousands of us can only dream of. While I salute them, I feel that the Run Norwich 10k isn't really a race as such, it's more of a celebration of fitness for the club runners, parkrunners and joggers who frequent this part of the world. It's a city centre stage for the East Anglian running community to put on a united front each summer, have fun and do a bit of good.
The good part is the charities the run supports - since the first one in 2015, an estimated £300,000 has been raised for good causes from runners taking part in the event and getting sponsorship.
This year three charities, Community Sports Foundation, The Nancy Oldfield Trust and Headway Norfolk & Waveney were chosen with hundreds of runners specifically raising money for this trio.
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I chose to run for Headway, which does so much in this county to support people in our region with traumatic and acquired brain injury, including strokes, their families and carers to regain confidence and overcome challenges.
My reason for choosing them was to raise money in memory of my close pal Jake Stephen who died from a brain tumour in 2001. When I applied to take part in January I saw the date of July 21, 2019 and instantly thought I'd run as an astronaut to mark 50 years since the first moon landing.
Yes, I was the urban spaceman carrying the Stars and Stripes through the city streets yesterday - or according to the people who cheered me on and who I high-fived in return: 'astronaut man', 'space guy', 'bloke from Ghostbusters', 'Buzz Lightyear' or 'Neil Armstrong'. Thankfully nobody called me a beekeeper.
My dress rehearsal at Brundall parkrun nine days ago led me to the conclusion that completing a 10k run in a helmet was nigh on impossible so I ditched my helmet (which started out as one of those orange B&Q buckets) on Castle Meadow and completed the course in a cap.
Running in a helmet down St Stephens Street and carrying an American flag will go down as one of the most surreal experiences in my life, but I drew on past runs wearing a chicken onesie, dressed as a Roman centurion and wearing a hollowed-out pumpkin on my head for Halloween to get me through it.
Enough about me though. This was an event that everyone who took part in can today feel proud that they did their bit in cementing Run Norwich as one of THE big city events of the year.
While I'm sure it may take some of you a day or two to recover and you'll certainly never look at Rose Lane in the same light again, a glance at that lovely shiny medal will remind you that you were there and you did your bit.
To the organisers and volunteers - from the people manning the Forum expo to those manning the water stations, to those controlling street crossings to those picking up plastic cups and to the supporters and fellow runners - a big thank you from me.
The Run Norwich 10k draws together so many people and does so much good - it's great to be in Norwich on a day where the city is filled with such positivity.