I was a homing pigeon in my previous life

So I’ve volunteered to join my colleagues for a charity run. It wasn’t the first time. 10 legs, with a total of 56 miles from Bristol in the direction of Basingstoke. Taking in the best of what Wiltshire has to offer. This is a charity run our client organizes, and had teams from their company, and a single team from ours.

Due to the day of run falling on the Jewish new-year’s eve, I’ve said that I’d run and head straight home. There’s cooking to finish, and kids to wash.

Three of us, the “fit” ones put our bodies on the line to do a double leg. Making it 10miles rather than 5. After all, all three of us – Albino Rob, 8 minute Bruce and myself are seasoned half marathon runners. Bruce being a full marathon-man.

Rob replenishing

Cardiff half marathon is drawing closer, so obviously we are all fit as a fiddle?!

Usually I run a good 15-20 miles a week. Only the summer heat drained me and I’ve resorted to a ‘what could possibly go wrong’ attitude. To make things better, I contracted a serious case of man-flu just the night before the race.

What could possibly go wrong?

I woke up, on time at 5:30 am. Oh, the great humanity! The second clue came when everyone started asking how I feel given the fact that both my legs are the hardest ones. Seriously more. Denial worked for me. I was surprised, as I clearly remember that we’ve agreed to stitch Rob (again) with the massive hills. I guess it backfired.

Rob went first, at 8:00 before dawn. Tackling the Bristol rush hour and hitting the Wiltshire country side at good pace. I was second to go.

Ready to start

Ready to start

My running started quite deceptively – on a flat section. I think it was at least 50 feet long. then things started to go wrong. The next three miles were a moderate up hill. Three miles where I spent most of the time trying not to run cars over. At the top of the hill I was feeling thirsty, tired and hot. Shall I say what BBC weather promised? I’ll just say they were wrong.

Surprisingly, the support team handing out drinks in silly plastic cups that spill on the road rather than into your mouth, said that I look fresh. Well, I bet I know what he had for breakfast.

The next 7 miles served me with two massive steep hills, with the easier one being only 16%. Walking up was faster.

As I tackled the last hill, I sprinted up it. Or as others might call it – I walked.

Here a twist is added to the plot. The whole route was sign-posted. With a person removing the signs after the last runner.

After the hill I realised I have not seen a single sign in over a mile. I pushed, slowly, on. Another half mile gone without a sign. Here I called the guys and said I thought I was lost. What a mistake! I am still getting stick at work for thinking I am lost on a straight. Apparently the sign-guy removed all the ‘straight-on’ signs as he saw me ‘sprint’ up the hill.

At the end, I finished at a very slow time of 1:56. Yes, a 10 miler slower than almost all my half marathons.

So, time to go home? Na. My friends had me shuttle them for the next 2 hours between start/end of legs.

So, time to go home? Kind-of. I’ve left the guys who we waiting deep in Wiltshire.

An hour later, as I was nearing Bristol and the M5, getting the smell of the Severn estuary I got a call. One of the guys put his bag and car keys in my car. I had to go back. Without a GPS or a clear memory of the name of the place.

Luckily I was a homing pigeon in my previous life.

So, time to go home? Yes!!! Four thirty I was home. Just the time we were supposed to leave the house.

So how is the new year so far? Stiff, mostly around my legs.

Arriving at the finish

Arriving, looking deceptively fresh


About snailonabike
I cycle, I run, I live, I have a family, I write code for a living, I have an opinion

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