The Sunday Standard Distance Race image gallery. Great event worth the 4am alarm call!
Two months ago when Jo suggested doing a Muddy Run for Cancer Research it all seemed like a good idea. Nobody laughed longer or harder than John and my children because they know that this is so out of my comfort zone. I am a white porcelain girl and the thought of me actually choosing to get muddy, albeit for charity, was a little hard for them to comprehend!
As the weeks went on a Muddy Run chatgroup was set up and arrangements were made. What to wear, what not to wear, what to bring to change into and who was prepared to get their car extremely muddy for the return journey. John volunteered to drive MY car and everyone agreed to meet at our house at 8am on Sunday 24th June.
The morning began with a tour of our garden and further dressing up and the adorning of glow in the dark face paint provided by Mandie. Jo opted for pink frilly knickers…more of those later. I also wore a pair but sadly the effect was not quite the same as Jo’s due to my large backside! Mandie went in the car with Paula and Jess to keep her company whilst Pam and Jo joined me and John. Paula was following until just after Drusilla’s when John noticed she was no longer behind at precisely the same time Jo’s phone rang with Mandie saying that Paula’s care had a flat tyre. We turned back to help out. Unfortunately the boot didn’t provide the little ‘goodies’ that one needs to change a tyre and ours tools were not compatible so John gave his instructions. Pam put on the hi-vis and stopped the oncoming traffic whilst Mandie and Jo ran down the road and stopped the upcoming traffic, not before Jo stripped off her pink frilly knickers, I had to get our car out of the way whilst John reversed Paula’s car into a layby as a point of safety. The AA was duly called and Paula insisted that we all left in the hope that she could join us later.
Tilgate Park was awash with swathes of pink adorning women of all sizes and shapes and I MEAN all sizes! At this point I think we all realised that this was not going to be a run even between the obstacles. Athletes and runners most of these ladies were not! We were all there to have fun and raise much needed funds for Cancer Research, so if you are expecting a report on running read no further!
Once we had found Katie we joined in the warm up exercises ….fun if you are not trying to dance around the dog! Then we were off. I stuck with Katie who gave me good army advice about the best way to crawl through mud, climb rope nets and roll over the top of inflatables. All good advice but it didn’t stop any of us getting thoroughly covered in mud. We laughed and laughed at the sight of our friends but forgot that we looked exactly the same if not worse. If we thought we were muddy before the last obstacle we were very much mistaken. Oh my goodness much found its way into every crevice and then some and at Katie’s suggestion we headed for the lake where we played around but were all secretly trying to get the worst of the mud off. Luckily it was a hot day and after coffee and silly photos we headed back to the car where once John was ensconced in the car we stripped off and changed. Mandie bared her back side to a family of heading up the hill. Jo had forgotten clean underwear. I think she secretly wore the pink frilly pair home! Shortly after we left Tilgate Park we heard that Paula had made it and had also completed the course. We laughed all the way home sharing photos with family and friends on social media.
Out of my comfort zone? Yes.
Did we run much? No.
Would we do it again? Hell Yes!
So ladies if you want a fun time without running put a date in your diaries for next year and join us!
Leeds Castle Triathlon – Sprint distance - Saturday 23rdJune (from the perspective of a newbie to triathlon)
After a very early start (4:30am alarm call for me – though being midsummer it was already light) Helen, Katie, Chris, Angela and Cathy arrived at Leeds Castle to register for this event. We collected a vast assortment of race numbers and bike labels – but despite all these we each also had to have our race number written on one leg and one hand in black pen.
Chris, Angela and myself had entered as a relay team, while Helen and Katie were doing the full triathlon. Once the bikes were in the transition area, and swimmers zipped up in their wet suits, it was time for the briefing. As a newbie, the briefing seemed to be full of rules that if broken would lead to DQ (disqualification), and explaining a very complicated route. (After listening I realised that I was going to have to rely on following the people in front.)
It was soon time for the wave in which Chris would start her swim. We watched as each wave of the swimmers entered the castle moat. There was a drone above – taking the pictures/videos of them.
Angela didn’t have long to wait in the chip handover area for Chris to appear – then she was off on the cycle leg of the event. This was the longest section of the event, the route being mostly outside the grounds of the castle. Angela arrived back within the time she’d estimated, and passed on the chip to me for the run. The run route was somewhat hilly. However, there was one advantage of the height gained - a lovely long downhill, with a perfect view of the moated castle. The finish line was soon in sight, at which point Angela and Chris could join me so that we could all collect our medals well-stocked goodie bags and fluorescent green t-shirts together.
As newbies, Chris Angela and myself enjoyed this triathlon, and now want to do another.
Congratulations to Helen and Katie who did all three disciplines, Katie coming first in her age group.
Congratulations also to Frances Burnham, David Palmer, Dan and Ali who raced in the Standard distance triathlon on the next day – Sunday 24 June.
Five BRT ladies, Helen McPherson-Goddard, Lorna Cotter, Pam Matthews, Mandie Henderson and myself arrived early Sunday morning at Uckfield National Golf Club for Davina’s Big Sussex Bike ride. With the option of three distances we had (cajoled by Helen) signed up for the longest - 68 miles/109k. And for a couple of us, the longest distance we had ever cycled. Mandie had even chosen to make the ride on her birthday! With Davina McCall on hand to start the race, we crossed the line together, out onto the A22, cheerful and optimistic for the ride ahead. Within half hour the sun was pushing through and it was obvious it was going to be a warm day as the route took us down back roads, country lanes and through picturesque villages. The event was very well signposted and two official fuel stops provided ample refreshments, but there were hills - lots of them - especially through the second third of the course, and I freely admit that there were moments when I got off to push the bike uphill, while my ‘team’ waited patiently each time and for that I thank them. We persevered and before long we were into the final third - closing in on the finish. Watches were checked, the diminishing distances shouted back from one rider to another, official signs stating ’10 miles’ then ‘5 miles’ and finally ‘1 mile’ to go. At one point, some of the team even managed to burst into song (if you could call it that). The junction with the A22 appeared and we were on the road back to the Golf Club. We crossed the finished as we started - together - Team BRT. It was exhausting, we ached everywhere but the ride was fantastic and our exhilaration and sense of achievement outweighed everything else. Mandie in her exuberance, even managed to comandeer ‘Al’ the paramedic to play ‘anchor’ to our human pyramid! I was so pleased to have done it and with such a lovely group of ladies. Would I do it again - probably - but definitely with a lot more hill practice first!