Race for Life @ Trentham Gardens 7th June 2011

I’ve never seen so much pink in one small area. I’ve never worn so much pink all over my own small area. When people weren’t wearing head to toe, crazy day-glo pink, (which was rare) they looked like evil nazis in comparison to all the fluffy pinkness. Mister, daughter 1, daughter 2, Lovely Lou (the reason for running) and family, fossil girl, and Mr KA came to laugh cheer. KA ran with me. KA is loads younger, loads prettier and loads taller than me. Let’s dress up, she said. So we dressed as fairies. Only she looked like a gorgeous, groovy steampunk fairy and I looked like the Pixie from Merlin. At the starting line Cyndi Lauper was squealing at us about wanting to have fun. For a nanosecond it was a bit cheesy and funny but then it was like ‘just shut up!’ We lined up with the jogging group (hedging our bets, basically, too chicken to do the running group and too proud to do the walking group). KA warned me that she couldnt run very fast and I thought I was going to have to go really slowly and wait around quite a lot for her, then she proceeded to zoom off into the distance leaving only her lovely aura and vapour trail. 

At first I thought I was doing really well, a bit knackered but still going.  It felt like we’d been running for hours and I thought we must be near to the finish line now when a marshall shouted ‘you’re doing great, half way round now!’  My lungs felt like wind battered tesco bags struggling to escape the confines of my painfully bouncing chest and I thought my legs had left me for someone else.  At some point I think I might have started to hallucinate, but it could have really been three enormous bumble bees that ran past me.  All this time I was looking for KA in the distance, dodging the walkers, and I kept on running, despite the pain, because I knew I could not let that girl finish before me, no matter what the cost. The prospect was just too humiliating. It turned out to be a pretty good incentive.  The finish line shimmered in the heat hazed distance and so too did KA’s stripey knee high socks. I’d actually transcended my body at this point and had strange pins and needles in my arm that made me wonder, vaguely, if I was having a coronary. But I ran and caught KA up just about 200 yards from the finish line and we crossed it together. It was a lovely moment.

I’m writing this now from beyond the grave. Or at least that’s what my legs are telling me.