Neil Featherby: My advice to anyone taking part in Run Norwich this weekend

Jack and Dick Cheung training for the race at a Ghost Hill Training Session. They will be wearing ribbons at Run Norwich in honour of their late brother, Sze. Picture: Neil Featherby

Jack and Dick Cheung training for the race at a Ghost Hill Training Session. They will be wearing ribbons at Run Norwich in honour of their late brother, Sze. Picture: Neil Featherby


Having now moved into the second half of 2019 and what with many of the big city races also having now been completed, the summer months can be what I call the Pimms & Lemonade period particularly if the year hasn't been planned out well in advance.

Jack and Dick Cheung training for the race at a Ghost Hill Training session. Picture: Neil FeatherbyJack and Dick Cheung training for the race at a Ghost Hill Training session. Picture: Neil Featherby

However, here in Norfolk, we have the Sportlink Grand Prix Road Race Series which keeps the race calendar alive until the autumn and of course we also have the Run Norwich 10k which really has become a big city centre race itself.

What a super event this is too with thousands of people all just a couple of days away from lining up on Sunday morning ready to run just over 6.2 miles around what really is a testing, but excellent course, taking in some of Norwich's most historic sights.

With ever increasing numbers, it also shows just how the running boom is still growing with no signs of it slowing down either.

People of all ages and differing backgrounds all toeing the line together for what should be not only a great occasion, but at the same time also allowing so many people to complete a personal challenge after the culmination of several months of hard work in preparation for their big day.

For some it is their Everest what with perhaps only having taken running up during the last year whilst for others it is the chance to place higher up or run quicker than they did last year.

Monies is raised for charities and good causes too and this is absolutely brilliant in so many ways.

However, and as always before any big race, I have also received lots of messages from runners during these last few wind down days asking me if I think they should still take part what with having a niggle or injury along with the usual colds and chest infections.

In some cases it comes down to nerves and over thinking it as I have discussed many times before and at other times it really is a case of where the sensible thing to do would be not to run.

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It really is all about trying to take the emotion out of it all which really is not easy especially when your mind has been focused and targeted to this race. Even more so when there is a special personal reason for running.

The Run Norwich 10k really is one of those races whereby it is a chance to shine.

Be it for those who are at the front of the race and with that I mean anywhere from first place to those in the top 100 finishers or of course for those who have been training just to complete the run with a group of friends or work mates.

There is nothing worse than having had to pull out of a race at the last moment only to then look at the results and race times afterwards thinking I could have been right up there or of course being the only one in the office on Monday morning who didn't do the run whilst having to sit there and listen to all those who did take part talking about what a brilliant occasion it was for them.

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Therefore and for those people who are suffering with this dilemma and have asked me for my thoughts, my advice has been for them to try and get a couple of easy-ish runs in this week without any real pain i.e. no more than a max of two on the pain scale whilst also knowing that on the back of these runs they will be able to run on Sunday without any discomfort or risk of turning what might be a minor niggle into an injury.

At the same time, to just start the race at a pace which they feel relaxed at and if all okay then work their way into it.

In many cases once the race has started and the nerves settle, thoughts of what may have been perceived as a troublesome problem will disappear and the likelihood is that they will push on and finish strongly.

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For those who really have hurt themselves though, well that has to be down to them.

If they are serious about their running and do still have targets for the rest of the year, then in truth it really might be better to write this one off.

For those who say they have charity money riding on it, well jog or even walk round providing it can be done without causing further aggravation.

With regards to those suffering with a cold, sore throat or chest infection, well once again and this is only my opinion, but if it is just a bit of sniffly cold, warm up and then see how you feel before making a final decision.

Anything worse than this, particularly if it's a chest cold or infection, and there are signs of feeling a little feverish, then it's not really a good idea to push the body too hard under those circumstances.

Anyway, and thankfully I am sure that at least 95 percent of those who have got this far are all fit healthy and raring to go for which I sincerely do hope that each and every person will have a great race and enjoy every moment of it.

I think the weather conditions are meant to be pretty good early on, but with the temperature warming up quite a bit later on, do remember to tick all the advice boxes when it comes to running in the heat especially for those who will be out there for close on to an hour or more.

For those who are looking for a fast time and at the risk of repeating myself for the umpteenth occasion, pace makes for the perfect race!

One final footnote and having already said that so many people are running for their own personal reasons, all the very best to Dick and Jack Cheung who are running in the memory of their late brother Sze Ming.

Sze was so very popular for which Jack and Dick have had ribbons made up for the occasion. They have already handed over 1,300 out to local running clubs and other organisations.

If anyone else would also like to join them on Sunday and wear one of these very special ribbons, they have 500 left and will be handing them out at the Forum from 10am on Friday morning. Alternatively, they can also be obtained from their Chung Hing Chinese takeaway restaurant in Hellesdon.

MORE: Love running? Join the Run Anglia Facebook group here

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