This blog is sponsored by Special K.
It’s race day! We’re lined up at the start of the Great Manchester Run, fired up and raring to test ourselves on the half marathon course, the atmosphere feels electric. Last minute checks; eat half a banana, drink water, go to the toilet, get playlist ready: all set. In the final few minutes before the gun goes off, we give each other hugs, high fives, take a deep breath and then its show time.
My Role as a Mentor: Special K X Sophie
Since January this year, I’ve been mentoring five people; three women and two men to get physically and mentally ready for this race as part of my work as Special K’s #PoweringYou Ambassador. In December I ran a competition on social media looking for people who wanted to take on the challenge of the Great Manchester Run and grab the opportunity to be part of the team. These guys won and we have been training together and supporting each other since then. We’ve had a couple of meetups and training days in London and stayed in regular contact sharing highs and lows through our WhatsApp group.
Watch our Great Manchester Run video recap:
Do Something To Make Your Spirt Soar
Today is the day! It’s race day and everyone is determined to give it their best shot and enjoy the experience. The night before the race, I read this poem on a wall in Manchester. I absolutely love it and feel it really embodies the spirit of the event:
Do something to show them what you’re made of
Do something you’ve never done before
Do something to beat what you’re afraid of
Do something to make your spirit soar
Do something to get a little fitter
Do something to celebrate your health
Do something to prove you’re not a quitter
Do something to prove it to yourself
As the clock ticks into 9am we hear the start gun and we’re off. Propelled forward by adrenalin and the energy of thousands of people, we start ticking off the 13.1 miles ahead one step at a time. The first three miles go by in the blink of an eye and I’m happy to be running next to Kerry, Jemma and Soph with Andy and Hannah just ahead. As we pass into 6 miles and the first feed station, Jemma, Andy and I are still together as we press towards the half-way point. Half way is always a great feeling!
The route winds along closed roads through the centre of Manchester, out to Old Trafford and back to the city centre. There’s a Caribbean drum band, kids handing out high fives and people lining the streets eagerly searching the crowd of runners for loved ones.
Final Push to the Finish!
I’ve just clicked into 10 miles and know I’m in the final few miles. Time to push hard! Amazing to see my Special K #PoweringYou posters on the route – I had to stop for a selfie to send to my Mum!
Kerry catches up with me and we run together for a bit. Having friends to do a race with is so fun and gives you a boost of energy; when it gets hard you know they are out there on the course fighting for the achievement of the finish too.
One mile to go and my legs are screaming at me but it’s crunch time. The words “don’t hold anything back” are written on the road and this urges me to find strength to up my speed and go all out to the finish.
Crowds are line the streets and the energy is encouraging, I cross the line and see Ben, Andy and Jemma. It’s hugs and high fives all round, everyone is buzzing. We soon meet up with Hannah and catch Kerry coming across the line. Everyone did it in sub two hours. What a result! Andy speaks to his daughter sharing the elation he feels, I jump on quickly to say she should be super proud, he completely smashed it!
Challenge yourself, change your mindset, change your life!
It’s been amazing to mentor these guys over the past few months and build our team vibe. I love seeing them take on this challenge in their own way, dedicate themselves and what it’s meant to them all. When you challenge yourself, you achieve something that perhaps you didn’t think was possible, this strengthens your self-belief and encourages you to raise the bar and achieve more. Challenge yourself, change your mindset, change your life!
I woke up on Monday morning buzzing from the Great Manchester Run experience and reflected on the opportunity I have as Special K’s Ambassador. There is nothing I love more than helping people achieve their own personal greatness and discover the confidence, self-belief, inner strength and determination that comes with it.
Special K is made with vitamins and minerals like iron which feeds endurance and vitamin B6 which feeds recovery, which is super helpful when training for a challenge as they both reduce tiredness. Beyond that, being able to work with Special K to help people achieve their extraordinary and find their own power is something I am so proud of and grateful to do!
A serving of Special K cereals contains ≥15% of the nutrient reference value of iron & vitamin B6 which contribute to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue. Enjoy as part of a varied & balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.