On Saturday the 13th of June I ran the Sonia 5k. The race was in celebration of the 20 year anniversary of Sonia O’Sullivans gold medal at the World Games in Gothenburg.
First the bad. There was some organisational errors. I picked up my race number on Thursday, and got to hear Sonia speak (more on this later), but some other people were told by the staff at Elverys in Arnotts that race number collection would continue on Friday until 8am and again on Saturday until 3pm. No one was there on Saturday from the organisers so the poor staff at Arnotts had to bear the brunt of angry runners who had come in to collect race numbers but left empty handed. Worse, the Sonia event website has no contact telephone number and the staff at Arnotts were given no forwarding number. Pretty poor stuff.
And now the good. On Thursday evening at race number collection, it was great to hear Sonia speak about her running career. If you look at my first ever blog post, I was delighted that I’d run 1,000 miles, Sonia commented that she would routinely run 100 miles a week at her peak, in 10 weeks she’d cover a distance that has taken me multiple years to do. What was also apparent was Sonia’s love of running. It seems that success was just a by-product of that love of running. Sonia talked about how, when its raining, she almost has to sneak out of the house to avoid the comments, “you’re not going out in that” – as Sonia said, that sort of judgement comes only from people who don’t understand, and don’t have the dedication. To Sonia running is at its core a social sport. Sonia loved having team mates, and when practicing out on the track, knowing that others were out there with her made it all the more enjoyable. I ran the Sonia 5k with my brother, father, financee, and future sister-in-law. Even though we all ran different times and at different paces, it was more fun knowing they were all out there somewhere.
The route was enjoyable, with the right about of runners, an oddly late start time of 7.30pm, and a great medal once you crossed the line. I ran the 5k in 21minutes and 46 seconds, which I was pleased with (Sonia did it in 19 mins 27 seconds). A great race, and great to hear some words of wisdom from an Olympic and World Games medalist. Sonia is still an inspiration to those who enjoy running.