Report by Hana Clitherow
The first paragraph of this report has been removed as the result of a complaint. I had thought about removing the whole report but decided to leave the rest as it is.
Race day arrived and what scorcher it was. Cloudless skies and the sort of heat that requires large glasses filled with ice, lime and G&T to relax with, not a bl—dy short (4mile) fast and furious race at a time when I should be drinking that G&T and eating something healthy instead of the 3, yes 3 fondant fancies I ate to keep the stomach rumbles away prior to arriving at the race HQ.
Parking at the venue was good: In a field that was nice and dry so we weren’t going to get stuck or slide around in any mud.
Toileting was either in the club house, where I managed to find the single ladies cubicle queue free, clean and with toilet roll still available. There were also Portable toilets outside of the standard green colour but I didn’t feel the need or urge to test them out. Dehydration due to heat and menopausal heating malfunction was doing a great job of keeping me wee free (is that a tad too much information?)
The race HQ would have been a tight squeeze should it have rained, but everyone was outside looking for shade and appeared to being having a good time catching up with running friends. I managed one cuddle…thanks to I.S who I think just feels sorry for me. Younger men just run a mile or 4 on this occasion.
TRC had a great turn out with lots of ladies (8 I believe) so enough for a ladies team of 6 to be in with a shout of winning a team prize, and my work place had also managed to get a good number of staff to enter this race as well.
Race numbers were large, so the start line was a tad cosy and getting everyone to conform to the race director’s requests was almost impossible. After all, who wants to lose their place towards the front at a race start when that could lose you valuable time?
In an effort to bring us all to heel I believe he shot someone…….well maybe not, but he did fire the starting gun which caused a “Garmin melt down”. You know the feeling when you can’t get your GPS to lock onto satellites. Well this time people had gone into auto pilot and had fingers almost pressing the “Start” button. Heart rates rose for a second and the horses in the adjacent field looked at us in disgust.
A briefing followed the attempted murder/attention grabbing shot but I heard only the odd word. This was probably due to burst ear drums, then the starting pistol was fired once again and we were off like boisterous bullocks who have seen a hiker trespassing in their field.
Staying upright and not tripping over people’s feet was difficult in the first couple hundred metres but gradually the throng spread out and I started to do a little weaving from side to side in order to make some headway. I could see or was that hear Dave W most of the first mile and a half. How could he chat let alone utter coherent words when there I was, trying to concentrate on breathing….no not some technical running breathing style….. just breathing to stay alive. I don’t think I was doing a basking shark impression as I didn’t swallow any flies but I was making the odd spluttering noises along the way.
The route goes downhill which is lovely way to start a race but what goes down must go up and THE HILL arrived. I could hear foot dragging behind me and a female runner passes in a style not dissimilar to speed walking. “I’m not having any of this” I say to myself, I just want to get this race done and dusted as I’m too hot, too bothered and it’s past wine o’clock.
As we reach the brow of the hill I have surprised myself and I’ve overtaken the foot dragging, speed walking but running lady. I’m not sure for how long I would stay ahead of her, but she also emits a distinctive breathing noise which will warn me in advance of any attack on my lead by her. I don’t even know if she is in my age cat, so why am I so bothered………must be my hormones?
After the hill we turn left with the aromas of Fish and Chips wafting through the air. There is a plentiful supply of supporters to cheer us on but I’m intent on overtaking Chris R and so I start to pick up some more speed. That sounds so boastful, when I say speed I use the word carelessly if that’s the right phrase. My tempo rises slightly just enough to give me some “Old croc” turbo charging. God, those fondant fancies seem to be effective.
The route is dull and uninteresting. Residential streets with no real scenery of note. We are either in the road or on pavements and I don’t remember a drink station at any point but then again the heat was making me delusional as well as blind……I kept thinking maybe I could go faster and actually win my NEW age cat…..”The over the hill and on the way out” category, when I overtake a CAC female who is usually ahead of me at the finishing line. Sh-t this means I will be worrying about the foot dragger and CAC as I enter the last mile!
At the roundabout we enter “road disruption land”, where the council are doing major works but apparently they have moved the barriers, cut the grass and spread white sand in places to make the surface more even. I’m actually storming down the first section, my security hanky is overworked and truly sodden. My mouth is so dry you could use it as blotting paper and the end is in sight-ish.
The route turns left and up slightly. I can hear distinctive breathing from behind. Panic starts to rise and if my heart could beat faster it would have stopped. With so little distance left till the end, surely I can’t be overtaken? I could be, and I have been in the past, so I mutter under my breath words of ……….. well I actually can’t remember but whatever they were, they worked. Digging deeper than normal I glanced over my shoulder as I started the final 100m to the finish line. Foot dragger and CAC weren’t there but I sprinted anyway and managed to cross the line without feeling the urge to be sick. Fondant fancies are obviously the way to go!
I win my age cat…….wow!
Did I enjoy the run?
No I did not. I hurt more the day after than I have after any marathon. If fact I was so drained when I got home, I drank coffee, ate more cake and went a whole day without alcohol.
Some people go for a recovery run the day after a race but I decided to try something different, instead I went for a recovery boogie at The Eden Project where I had tickets to see Brian Adams.
Now I’m going to digress a little (nothing new there then)
Husband who plays Golf and I arrive at Eden with just enough time for a picnic before the concert was due to start. As I like to get my priorities right, I send my husband off to get some red hydration liquid at the bar whilst I decide to speed walk to our favoured picnic area. As I march on, I notice a group of 5 or 6 men walking towards me, all wearing official looking lanyards. As I start to pass them I notice the shorter male nearest to me (within touching distance) give me a curious look. Two seconds later it dawns on me who I have just snubbed. I have given Brian bl—dy Adams the cold shoulder. I glance over my shoulder to see one of his minders give me the “Too late babe, you really did miss the opportunity of the evening……sucker” Look.
This getting Old thing stinks!