I think I’ve pretty much nailed my place in the Olympic team for the 200m Hurdles and Backpack Dash. By my reckoning it was a world record, provoked by Sheffield Station’s surly British Rail May-I-Hinder-You? operative’s ‘You’ll never make it in time….’
Never? Make? It? In? Time? Now that was a challenge I wasn’t going to leave in the draughty waiting room sipping tepid coffee for the hour before the next train. With Sketchers instead of running shoes and a backpack full of the presentation I was taking to Leicester, I flew over the footbridge, leaping over the hurdles of 1) a three-legged dog, 2) a wheelie case (avoiding its owner by a whisker) 3) the broken bottle dropped by another competitor in this race for the train.
I made it, leaping into the nearest carriage half-full of first class travellers tucking into their free breakfasts. They looked startled – and slightly worried that the wild-haired panting woman might sit next to them and sweat, or worse still, talk. No fear, I was heading for the Standing Room Only section where I could bask in the glory of my new record.
The basking lasted just 24 hours, shortly after setting off on the Friday training run with the Eccleshill Road Runners. “So, we all know where we’re going, then?” Sophie, our leader asked. “No,” I replied honestly, as I am navigationally challenged. So off we went, and off they went. In my defence, it was chucking it down and the rain was running through my sleeves and landing on the pavement like an overflowing drainpipe. It was gushing over my hat and into my eyes, good grief I was wet. So maybe it was that that send me and two poor unfortunates behind me, down darkened streets and into cul de sacs. A couple of miles and several gallons of rainwater later by some miracle we met up with the main group again, though we did come from the opposite direction which surprised them a bit, but not as much as it surprised me.
As a result, I think Olympic glory won’t be mine as there’s no guarantee I’ll find the stadium. Pity really, but the team just can’t take the risk, with gold at stake…