I’m not going to do a full race report for last weekend’s Shakespeare Half in Stratford-On-Avon.
The conditions were perfect and it wasn’t a bad course, but ultimately my training was all a bit haphazard (and I experienced extinction-level chafing to the point where, three days later, I still feel like my groin has been torn apart by rabid wolves).
The race can be summed up thusly: I got the result I deserved, and the support I dreamed of.
The one thing that will stick with me about this race is the lengths that Mrs Plod went to in order to make this as lovely a race as possible.
From booking the race as a surprise gift, to pushing me out the front door for wet and windy training runs.
From keeping me motivated with superhero running shirts, to bringing the Plodettes along to cheer me towards the finish line.
For researching and putting together the ultimate goodie bag (Cake! Nuts! Sticky ninjas!).
For ordering a special trophy, just in case the medal wasn’t up to scratch.
For being there.
I’ve never felt such an enormous pull towards the finish line as I did last Sunday, when I knew they were waiting for me. As a runner, I’ve always been a bit of a lone wolf. A renegade loose cannon maverick who plays by his own rules but gets results1. If runners had sergeants, mine would be in a constant rage, shouting at me to hand over my badge and my gun.
Okay, I’m not convinced that the analogy stretches, but the point I’m making is: this was all new to me. And it was all kinds of lovely. I have the best gang.
So, this isn’t a race report.
It’s a thank you xxx
1 And by “results” I mean “mediocre finish times and a flayed groin”