By Kathryn Forster.
I woke up early this morning, with feelings of both excitement and dread,
“Will I finish?”, “Will I make a fool of myself?” were the crazy thoughts spinning round in my head.
For some, bashing out a non-stop 16k is executed with the greatest of ease,
But, for me (with being a tad crazy!) it was never going to be a breeze.
I’d set myself the realistic target of finishing inside an hour and a half,
Hopefully, with minimal (if any) need to urinate, faint or barf!
I’d carefully crafted a playlist so euphoric it would make anyone be high
As a kite being flown during Storm Eunice, ensuring those miles passed swiftly by.
But I discovered that headphones were “illegal props” from chatting with Lisa Darby,
It was a bloody good job, therefore, that we’d loaded up on a tea that was good ‘n’ carby!
To get there we chose to go in the van and promote Lost Robot wide and far,
This meant splashing out on over-priced fuel and rejecting Pete King’s offer of a “free” electric car.
I remembered back to Old Monks in Hart; my very first time in a Harriers vest,
I’d layered it on top of another tee and my core temperature soared past its optimal best.
So, I opted for the ‘vest only’ look today, to keep me cool for the entire duration,
And, I have to say, despite the Yorkshire winds, I’d dressed well for the occasion.
Off the gun went bang on 10am and like a randy soldier on leave,
I went off a little too eager and fast! “Wow” I thought, “At this rate I could over-achieve!”
5.04 was my first k and even Gazbo was still in my sight,
“Slow the hell down, Kathryn!” I told myself, “And do this bloody thing right!”
After 5k had lapsed I found myself in a steady rhythm that would be hard to break,
But, lo and behold, what did I find round the bend……a bridge – FFS!!!!
My average pace dropped below 5.10 and I thought, “Well, this a damn shame….
…If I don’t make up for this dip in pace, I may not actually beat Mark Raine!”
And there in the distance – the switchback, engulfed by marshals galore,
So, I took my illegal right earphone out and stashed it until they were no more.
Little did I know the switchback would last forever and a day,
However, it was nice to pass other fellow Harriers and get the opportunity to say…….
“Well done!” to all those passing by proudly adorning white vests with blue hoops round the chest
But, there were so many other clubs wearing these too so I cheered them all on to do their best.
It was lovely to pass my hubby as I could inform him of my current fast pace.
Then, up ahead in the distance I could see a familiar face,
Hobbling along in a Harriers vest was the legend that is Mark C,
I overtook him, turned round and chanted, “Come on fella, now you overtake me!”
And just like that he sped right past like an Olympic pace-setter,
Clearly, my encouraging pep talk worked as his ankle was instantly better.
10km had now gone by and the filthy switchback was complete,
So, back in the illegal right earphone went and we continued running up the windy street.
My euphoric tunes were working well, but to the rules I must adhere,
So, when I saw marshals at the pub up ahead I removed it from my right ear.
Once safely round the bend and marshal-free I popped the little bugger back in,
‘Perfect Symmetry’ by the almighty Keane was where my musical euphoria was to begin.
But alas, the volume was apparently way too high and an angry Apple watch was born.
Clearly, this was my punishment as they really should never have been worn.
So, out it came for the last time and the rest of the race was done sans tunes,
Instead of melodic euphoria I was left with sounds reminiscent of being in a Wetherspoons.
The final kilometre was upon me and my target I was clearly going to meet,
But, there he was, a constant 50m ahead – Mark Chapman whom I secretly hoped to beat.
And there it was – the final stretch of the course where my husband said he would be to cheer,
Me on to the finishing line and then present me with a well-earned beer!
1.25 and 26 seconds!!!!!! I was so pleased I could’ve cried,
But, I couldn’t find Gary anywhere to share my overwhelming pride.
Little did I know he WAS there at the end taking pictures of little ole me,
I was soon to be met with a big proud hug as he too shared his own 1.15 51 PB!
All in all, a great running event and a repeat next year most certainly beckons,
But one thing’s for sure, there’s no freakin’ way Chappers will beat me by two measly seconds!