The sun gleamed like a big torch in the sky, flooding my kitchen in it's morning rays. Once the kitty cats were fed it was time for a nourishing bowl of porridge and honey. It was 8am, so plenty of time for everything to go down nicely. At around 9'ish I sauntered over to the bus stop clad in my running suit with my number 256 tacked on to my shirt. Alighted the bus at ST Margarets station and walked down to the start area.
I immediately saw a familiar face. She was standing quietly in a queue and I bounded over to greet the lovely TurboTortoise! She nearly had a heart attack and asked if I too, was in the queue for the "ladies". I assured her I wasn't and popped over to stand in the sun to keep warm. Although Mr Sun had his hat on today, it was chilly in the shaded areas by the river which was where were all gathered for the start. TT joined me and we went looking for the other c25k'ers. Sadly, we never found them but not to worry - we walked over to the start line and took our places amongst the throng.
A bearded man approached us, all nice and friendly and started chatting. I realised pretty quickly that the man had FORCE 10 Body Odour. He was clearly one of these guys that doesn't launder his kit and just throws it in a draw, in readiness for the next outing. TT was smiley and friendly, chatting to him and I was wondering if her nostrils had been invaded by the putrid stench yet. If it had, she was putting on a brave face!! Eventually Stink Man decided to go and gas some other poor people when all of a sudden.....we were off!!
I was a bit nervous I have to say. I was worried and embarrassed that I might cough like a docker and thereby have to lose contact with TT. Alas, twas not to be and I survived the entire 10K without any incident. But here we were at the start. I had to try and manoeuvre myself past FOUL STINK MAN as he was running in front of me, gassing my path. TT was ahead of him and I did a cheeky little in, out and round slip, to get past him. Phew! TT and I chatted and got to Cross Deep, the road which would lead us to Teddington Lock.
All of a sudden, the yellow shirt of STINK MAN passed us and it was then that TT gagged. He was a good ten metres ahead of us, yet the stench of trench armpit and unwashed laundry permeated our nostrils. What were we going to do? We came up with a plan to pass him. It was the only way, because to be behind this guy was tantamount to suicide. But to get past this blizzard of maloderous thunk, we would have to put on the turbo boosters!
We rocketed past him, holding our breath, then dramatically gulped in the clean air once we were ahead of him. Our lungs said "thank you", as we inhaled cleaner air, despite the traffic fumes. Anything was better than having to endure another second of the foul stencher - now behind us thankfully! Eventually we reached Teddington Lock and a welcome walk break took us slowly over the bridge. Hundreds of runners battled with "ordinary" people coming the other way on the narrow footbridge, but eventually we were over the other side of the Thames and running towards Richmond. I'm sure STINK MAN had left a trail of destruction in his wake behind us.....
More chit chat along the way. I learned about a 20 century composer called Messiaen from TT. She learned what a dolly and jib were from me (film making camera equipment). Another amazing thing about TT is that she can recognise birdsong. "Ohhhhh! That's a blue nibbed song tit thrush lark" she told me at one stage. I think that's what she said - she's incredibly musical. I told her running with her was an education. It is.
We crossed Richmond Bridge and headed the 2K along the other side of the river to the finish line. TT was putting on some serious pace now and I was struggling to keep up - but I did! Just. That is......until the finishing area where her incredible legs took her at great speed across the finishing line. I huffed and puffed behind her (not by too much mind!) and there was my lovely wifelette Mrs Dan cheering and waving - right at the finish!
My time on the clock as I passed was 59'34. I'd done it. My longest run since coming back from "injury" and I was sooooo pleased to clock under the hour. TT and Mrs Dan chatted away as Mrs Dan gave me a towel she'd brought with her, so I could dry myself down. Oh! And also a cold flannel she'd put in the freezer before coming to meet me - just so I had some 5 star luxury at the finish line! It felt good, plastering the cold flannel onto my boiling neck.
We continued our search for the others but never saw them. That is....not until later at the pub. Mrs Dan and I could only stay for a short while, as we had a "social function" to attend later near our house.
But there you have it. A wonderful, fun, sunny and friendly run to start the summer with. I'll take that.
The pic was taken in my garden when we got home. And don't worry.....everything went in the wash (unlike some horrid men I can think of. He probably got home and put his kit straight into a drawer....bluuggghhhhh!!!!!)
Thanks for reading!