I did it! I ran my race! I am thrilled to bits right now. Also, shattered and aching, but most definitely elated.
Let me start by saying a massive massive thank you to everyone who sponsored me – Rani, Ben, David, Leila, Naomi and James, you guys are amazing.
So, did I win the race? Good lordy no! But nor did I come last by any means. And most importantly, I achieved my three major objectives: I ran the whole way, without stopping or slowing to a walk; I made fairly good time (35 minutes); I crossed the finish line!
It was a beautiful day for a run, I don’t think I could have been luckier with the weather. Maybe a little on the warm side? Luckily, Battersea Park is very leafy! Thank you for the shade trees – I like this reciprocal relationship we’ve got going on!
Most of my pre-run nerves were due to the fact that – being unaccustomed to getting up before 9am on a weekend – we really struggled to get out of the house. For a while I thought I would miss the start of the race. But get there we did, and in plenty of time to scoop up my new t-shirt:
and warm up with Francis, of Dance Flavourz:
The guy was a Zumba-dancing legend, had us all jumping around and shimmying our hips to warm up.
Here’s a little blow by blow of my thoughts during key stages of the race:
Start line: oh god oh god oh god, please don’t let everyone overtake me. I will try to keep pace with those two in the green wigs, they don’t look very fast.
0.5k: Holy crap, my pace runners are getting away from me! I will latch onto this woman with pigtails instead.
4k: My goodness that was an easy run. Wait hold on, that 4k sign seems a little early
1.5k: Haha! Green wigs have got a stitch and have dropped to a walk! Slow and steady, right Pigtails? We are totally the tortoises here.
2k: How can there be so much park?
2.5k: Woo, there’s Ben! I’m halfway!
4k: Okay, that 4k sign is definitely in the wrong place, even for the second lap…
3.5k: Oh shit! Pigtails is getting away from me! I am too slow even for the Tortoise!
4k: I am beginning to doubt that 4k really exists. Especially as three successive stewards have just told me “only a kilometre to go!” and they were each a good 30 yards apart. Has 4k become some kind of abstract concept? A mysterious bait waved beneath the noses of desperate runners?
4.5k: I can hear the brass band, I’m nearly there! That shortcut across the field looks so fucking tempting…
4.95k: Shit, I really thought I’d have a last minute burst of speed, but it’s all I can do to keep going. Pigtails probably finished hours ago. I haven’t seen Green Wigs in months. I really feel like the old crew is drifting apar… hey there’s Ben!
5k: I’VE DONE IT I’VE DONE IT I’VE DONE IT! Quick Ben catch me my legs are going.
After that it was a quick yoga warm down with a chick who seemed to be whispering into her mic. Like honey, I know it’s meant to be calming, but we’re in a field – people are also meant to be able to hear your instructions. Francis you ain’t.
I picked up my medal, complimentary peppermint foot rescue, and my silver birch sapling. No idea what I’m going to do with that – anyone want a tree??
And then it was off with the shoes and off to the next starting line, for the hundred metre dash world record attempt…
Did we break the world record for the greatest number of people running 100m barefoot? I have no idea. We left before the announcement was made, and on the way home Ben bought me a celebratory ice cream.