I was trying to remember how many times I have done this race, I think I have done 2008,9,10, 11 and missed 12 & 13. But I could be wrong. (Looking at the photos on the website for 2008 I did do that year, the vision of Borat in his mankini is seared on my brain, and I am actually there smiling nervously as he passes me in the final photo.)
The weather has been horrible all over Christmas, rain and wind with trees down all over the place and flooding and today was the same. The route had to be altered to avoid crossing the very energetic River Mole and we had to go over/under a couple of fallen trees. So instead of being just short of 10k it was just short of 4 miles. I was so relieved.
I sat in the car as long as possible before the start, we all then mustered at the bottom of the big hill. For once I was happy to be a fat little pudding and not a whippet-girl, poor things looked positively ill in the wind and rain. We huddled exactly like Emperor penguins (in fancy dress and lycra) to listen to the safety announcements and sing the national anthem. Just for once British/South African (there were a lot of them) reserve was forgotten and we just all packed in tight. Near me there was a man (not entirely sure what he was supposed to be) in a pair of speedos and blue body paint. He had the shape to carry it off but looked really really cold.
Once we got to the top of the first hill and under and over our first trees we were all nicely warmed up, though much of the race was just so unpleasant in terms of weather and under-footedness everyone just plodded watching their feet. All of the course was muddy, some of it was wet chalk, some few hundred steps, a lot of knobbly roots, puddles and leaves. The wind was very strong, and the rain never actually stopped, but went from blustery to whoosh! from moment to moment.
Seen on the course: a lot of Dr Whos of various incarnations, at least 3 daleks, a very good cyberman, several maids, fairies, puddings, lots of bees,elves, a judge with wig but I think I was the only Quality Street. One man thought I was a blueberry! the thought of it..
Believe or not I didn’t fall over, mainly because I walked a lot of it. Anyway run no 1 of janathon done, only 30 more items of exercise to bag.