First published in The Portsmouth News, 06/05/2014
Number of Races for Life in which self is entered: 1. Number of friends running with self: 1. Number of weeks until said race: 5. Training runs planned: myriad. Training runs completed: none.
It’s that time of year again: the time when women everywhere begin to regret their New Year decisions to enter the Race for Life and start to wonder instead if running to the corner shop before it shuts to grab a Mars Bar counts as ‘training’.
Running is the exercise friend of parents everywhere. Assuming that one stays away from dark alleyways, then it is a sport that can be indulged in at any time, anywhere, and costs nothing.
There is also little else in life that is quite as invigorating as an outdoor run. There is something primeval about it; you feel as though you were born to do it, and the runner’s high is unbeatable.
The problem with running, especially when one first begins, is that just because you are pounding along, feeling like an omnipotent bastion of fitness, you can become deluded enough to believe that you also look like one.
“Look at these glutes! Behold my quads and rippling calf muscles! Run with me, I beseech you, join me fellow human, let us embrace this most raw and natural of physical endeavour in unison!” And then you catch sight of yourself in a shop window, shambling along like the mutated offspring of a Fraggle that has mated with the Honey Monster.
Last year Jodi and I took our daughters with us to the Race for Life, but this year we have opted instead for the Pretty Muddy version. This is essentially the Krypton Factor, but with a lot of pink and no testicles. Best of all, the mud that is used is ‘pamper mud’. Apparently it’s the stuff used in salons. In other words, Jodi and I will enter the race looking like what we are, mothers approaching middle age, and leave it sporting the epidermis of a couple of twelve year olds. (Although not, for the avoidance of doubt, in a Texas Chainsaw way).
I have every suspicion that the organiser who told Jodi about the mud was having her on, and probably hung up the phone whilst guffawing to her colleagues that she’d ‘fooled another sucker’. However, if you’d like to sponsor a couple of deluded thirty-somethings for a jolly good cause, then our Justgiving link is: https://www.justgiving.com/muddybuddies-june14