First published in The Portsmouth News, 10th June 2014
Usually if I hear that a month’s worth of rain is predicted for a Saturday morning, I simply raise my brows and tut at the British weather. However, when the Met Office app on my phone displayed a large black cloud with a lightening bolt shot through it, I admit to feeling a tad unnerved.
For Saturday was Race Day. My buddy Jodi and I had entered the Pretty Muddy Race for Life in Winchester. Alas, not a single training run had been completed, and had we tapered our physical activity beforehand, then we would have essentially not left our beds for the week.
Race Day dawned grey and muggy and we jested that the rain was bound to begin the instant that we crossed the start line. We headed up the M27 and soon enough a bolt of lightening shot daggers across the sky: it became apparent that for once, the Met Office had it right.
After parking in Winchester, we walked with our families to the course. Jodi’s husband Dave was as disappointed as mine to spot hundreds of attractive women clad in lycra: the morning was clearly going to prove arduous for them, poor dears.
My choice of white breast cancer t-shirt became patently naive when Jodi and I went to line up for our pre-race warm-up. As predicted, the heavens burst open and thunder rocked the sky. Winchester was soon clad in darkness and I was apparently clad in just my bra, as my t-shirt became swiftly see-through.
With water streaming in our eyes and ears, and lightening crackling overhead, we set off. Over obstacles we went, and underneath others. Picking our way through the army assault course we raced through tyres, over an A-Frame, through tunnels, and underneath rope netting.
The run itself was 3 miles and included a mix of mild incline, field and track. Just as Jodi and I thought that we weren’t too filthy, we rounded a corner only to be confronted by a giant pool filled with mud. “Hands and knees, ladies,” called the marshal, and we dived straight in. We were smothered; mud in our hair, ears, eyes, underwear, toes. Brilliant, fabulous fun!
We ran on and eventually went down the inflatable slide, into another mud bath, before crossing the finish line in fantastic time. We’d run the entire distance, done it in good time, and finished hand in hand. Next stop: Southsea Common 20th July. See you there!