Saturday, 15 February 2014

Spit, Snot, Sweat...and the kindness of Strangers

This weekend’s challenge: Eton Dorney Half Marathon. This part of England has been really hard hit by the recent horrendous weather, so what to expect??? The weather report predicts more apocalyptic conditions, happily they are wrong, well mostly. No rain and bright sun, but the wind is fierce, fierce, fierce. The lake is full; the swans look in danger of just floating onto the path. Our pinned numbers are rattling so hard we all sound like we are dragging tin cans, like lumbering just-married cars. 

Weather like this brings out the best in running. It gives you the ability to battle not only your own weaknesses, but the power of nature. But it also highlights the less nice stuff.  A sense of humour is your best (only) ally. The girl running along side me spits (a common thing in races) to the left, and the wind takes that saliva and sends it straight back to the right....and all over my legs. I shrug. My sleeves are already covered with snot (my own), can’t get too worked up about a girl’s spit . Anyway, the energy I am spending just keeping myself moving forward is building up a serious sweat....spit, snot and sweat, what a metaphor for life running is, sometimes dirty, disgusting and what feels like an endless struggle just to keep going...

But then one of the few spectators, shouts to me to give her the jacket I have tied round my waste. “I will wait for you at the end,” she says with a huge smile. My heart melts....yes, running is the perfect metaphor for life....just when you think “this is too bloody hard,” a pretty stranger does you a kind turn and you keep on keeping on.

No wonder I love this crazy sport so much. And the medal is super....a plodding hare and a tortoise with a rocket strapped to his shell...oh yeah, that is definitely how racing feels. Life too! 

1 comment:

  1. You're right Anne, definitely more inspiring than Olympic Curling, and trust me, I tried. The image of "a tortoise with a rocket strapped to his shell" more on a par with the sliders in skeleton, crazy fun! Congrats!