Sunday, 23 November 2008

Birthday, mud and cakes!

Backdate this one to the 8th/9th November.

We'd decided to race the Sodbury Slog way, way back in February. We'd heard it's a great race and a big gathering for people from the running forum we're both members of. The race itself is around 9 1/2 miles, but the key word in the title is SLOG. There's only about 1 mile on tarmac, the rest is through ploughed fields, rivers and slurry. Now I know it's strange, but I really enjoy doing off road races, the muddier the better. I think it's because I reason to myself that the faster runners are slowed down by the conditions, but being a plodder, they won't affect me!

We got to our pub in Yate, a mile from Chipping Sodbury, and settled in, then walked into CS to recce the race HQ and pubs. Back to our pub for a couple of pints, then back to town to meet up with TP and ST. Lots of girly gossip, and then met with JW who helps organise the race, and some of his mates. All to a steakhouse, then pub until chucking out time. I was so busy having a good time, I forgot about running with a thick head the next day.

TP and ST presented me with a tiara to wear as a Mudhoney, and they both raced in stripy fingerless gloves! The race starts after a short service of Remembrance and all the runners are asked to wear poppies. The first mud bath came after about 2 miles, a short queue and plunge in up to our knees. There was a group ahead of me searching for a lost shoe already! There were hay bales to scramble over, a stile, one of the steepest downhills I've run and more mud than I really care to remember.

My favourite bit has to be approaching the final river (not river crossing, we had to run through the river). There were crowds on the banks, so I stopped and told them I'd only go on once they'd sung happy birthday to me. As they got to the name part, I turned to show them KWILTER on my vest and as I turned back, I lost my balance as my feet were buried in mud, and I was up to my knees in fast flowing water. You can see the result for yourselves!

I've no idea how long it took, somewhere close to my half marathon time I think but it was such great fun. We've already booked the hotel for next year!

Once I'd got back and showered we went to the local Italian restaurant that JW had booked and ate roughly our own bodyweight in pasta. Even B was defeated...although to be fair, he did eat half of H's pizza as well as his own pasta. M had brought cake for me, which after we'd cut it into 40 portions gave 3 crumbs each.

Great weekend, great friends and can't wait to do it all again next year

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