Sunday, October 14, 2012

Ooooh it hurts.

Team High Hopes
The day of the race finally came. It was freezing; I mean frost on the windows of the car freezing. Nevertheless, off we set at 6.30am. We arrived in plenty of time, tested out the portable toilets (no explanation needed – these are universally disgusting), and then stood by the roadside slowly 'chilling' whilst we waited for the race to start. As it happened we left it too long and so ended up quite far back from the finish line.

Bizarrely, a completely unknown female competitor asked me if I could check if her rear pocket zip was closed (just above her, er, bottom). So, numbed by the cold, I observed her lift the back of her top to show me her rear pocket. I couldn't see very clearly, and feeling slightly stunned by her request, I found myself reaching out (what was I thinking?) to try and rearrange the pocket to get a better view. I gave the zip a gentle tug before realising this was probably not what she had meant and quickly retracted my ice cold hands before mumbling something to the affirmative. It felt awkward. Anyway, I have digressed.

Finally the waiting was over. The air-horn sounded and the crowd surged forward. Phil Sapey, my running mate, and I weaved through the crowds, determined not to get caught up with all the slower runners – this involved a fair bit of effort, but worth it. We ran the first mile in 6.30 minutes and we pressed on hard.

I have to confess that I suddenly discovered a strange desire to actually come first. I kept seeing other runners ahead and to be quite frank I found that irritating. But I guess you have to know your limits. So how did we do? Phil, managed a time of 56.22 minutes and I came in just 11 seconds later at 56.33. That put us in the overall positions of 36 and 40 respectively. And out of over 750 people I think that's not too poor.

The amount that the six of us have raised is now over £700 and is still growing. Plus, I attained my goal of running the race in under an hour. So it's all good – except that everything aches. But it's a contented aching :)

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