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On Saturday I took part in the 27th Race the Train, a 14 mile race against a steam train across fields, streams and up and down steep valley slopes. This was a first for me as I have never been in a race before and normally my running consists of me and the dog, so being surrounded by hundreds of others was a little bit strange.

Sarah and family came along to support, they got to ride on the train, when they left me with the other competitors I was thinking that maybe they had made the sensible choice. The elite athletes with their massive thigh muscles and small shorts where a little daunting so I made my way to the middle of the field, seemed like an age before we started but with a blow of the steam engine the field was off.

The first section of the race through Twyn and then out on to the flat fields seemed to me like I was going to be alright. The first train, which the elites were racing was well ahead, but my race was with the second train of the day. After about half an hour I could hear it in the distance, at this point I had to make the decision to try to beat the train or concentrate on my own challenge to finish the course. At the six mile point the train passed me and I was sure that I could here Sarah shouting encouragement.

This left me with the remaining 8 miles to complete in my target of two and half hours, I had read that at the 7 mile mark the course became a lot tougher. I ran on.

 At the half way point the course swung back towards the coast, which also meant the driving rain and head wind were going to be with me to the finish. The next five miles of slipping, falling and sliding through mud made me regret the shoe choice, cushioning had won over grip and I was paying the price. The marshals all offered encouragement all of them seemed to be saying this was the last hill, that was until the next one.

I finally made it through to the two miles to go mark, this last section that I had run on the way out went on for ever and made my legs feel like lead weights. I was glad to make it back to the streets of Twyn and the crowds on the road side, near the finish line I ran past Sarah and put on my final sprint. I crossed the line in two hours and thirty minutes and two seconds.

Thanks to all those who sponsored me- £285 raised for cancer research, and I know my Mum would have been proud of me.

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