Most often it is not the workout that gets us out of bed in the morning. It is the friendships and unspoken bonds of those counting on us to show up.
Why else would you want to wake up at 4/430 to join 800 or so other people to run through the middle of Brighton at 5.30 am?
I’m not sure, but, 800 other people had the same idea!
We love the 530 Run. It’s different. It’s different because it’s an early run, but you don’t get those early morning nerves you do from getting up early for a race, because it’s not a race.
There is no timer. There is no first place. So much so that all of the medals have number 1 emblazoned in gold on one side.
The 530 team follow such a similar ethos to ourselves. Their mission is to encourage people to get outside, get active and, if you follow their other social posts, eat and be healthy.
You could see it in abundance last Friday morning. People weren’t racing. The groups of people running together seemed even bigger than last year, people slowing down a bit more to catch up with pals old and new and to take in the views from Brighton early in the morning, which are normally reserved for those leaving the clubs at this hour.
Seeing the moon drop below the old west pier as we arrive and the sun rise up from the other side as we jog past was a beautiful moment. The sea looked so tranquil too - everything has a different glow at this time of the morning. Everything looked so inviting.
A year ago, I was running with my mamaPal Ria. I seem to recall pushing ourselves at the last run. Still having fun, but edging more towards race pace than sexy pace. Still fun, still great to be out in the morning together. Still stopping for photo opportunities, still cheering the other pals, just a little bit faster.
Fast forward 12 months, add in two new babies and we were joined by other mommas, kids and pals, having fun, chatting away and enjoying cheering all of our other pals running around Brighton at 5.30 am. How, cool, was this?!
Ria summed it up perfectly a few hours after the run. You lot make us both so incredibly proud, it is worth every second that we put into helping make this group what it is today. Thank you.
My whole family decided at 7.15 Thursday night that they’d like to come and run with us all this Friday morning. A panicked email to Filippo to check we could still register, with an even quicker response to say yes, meant we had to go into full strategic operational mode, to ensure we left the house on time the next morning. Snacks packed. Kit laid out. Buggy pumped up. The list went on. The children then decided to all wake up at different times through the night, which meant about an hours sleep for us... but... we made it. We made it to the start and with big welcome smiles from team530 (Love these guys). We saw welcoming faces everywhere we looked. We saw our pals and could relax. We made it.
My boy was telling his class, three hours later, what he’d been up to this morning. I thi he, and they, were most excited to see his “real gold medal”. It was so so good to be out with my whole family having some fun.
What was also so great to see, was that from about 4.45am, all we could see from left to right were smiley, welcoming faces everywhere we looked. Everyone was happy to see each other. Everyone was happy to run with each other. Everyone was happy to run with anyone else and have some fun wjth your pals.
Like us, some of you just needed to turn up today. For your own well being you had to get it done. And you did it. Some of you reluctantly were pulled out of bed, but you made it to the start line. You smiled at the end. Some of you were forced to wear leggings... but you did it and we think you kind of liked it!
Everyone has their own reasons for running, but today, it showed us yet again that whatever your reason, when running together, we forget about our problems. We have some fun. And we get to relive our tales as we cross the finish line and share our wonderfabulous moments of the morning over some deliciously fresh cherries, some even more delicious yoghurts and who can forget the small batch cups of tea and coffee? What a morning.
I had to take a break from social media on Saturday. Why? Because my feeds were covered in 530 wonderfulness. Even the BBC had our image on their cover story. Every time I checked my apps, I had 9+ notifications showing. I’d click it and see it should have said 92! It’s so incredible to see the love being shared by all of you. So much so I needed a break just to let it all sink in. It was actually quite overwhelming to see that so many people were out together at 5.30am. So many people had serious amounts of fun.
I’d love to summarise this wonderfabulous run with a suitable motivational quote but I can’t. All I can think of is never stop being you pals. You’re an inspiration to everyone you meet. Keep being you.
PaPaPal signing out.