For Sherlock Holmes there’s Moriarty, Superman has the double whammy of Lex Luther kryptonite and in some episodes of Star Trek The Next Generation, the quirky and capricious Q pops in and out. But when it comes to my own personal nemesis, The One That Cannot Be Beaten, it’s a giant sweaty daffodil.
Ever since the Narcissus Giganticus puffed past me on the Puma Pudsey 10km two years ago, I swore I’d have my revenge. How could an uprooted bulb beat me? It was embarrassing, that’s what it was. I mean I’m more of a nut and bolt than a Usain Bolt, but a daffodil cutting a swathe through a host of golden runners to beat us to the finish line? No, no, NO!
The daffodil, symbol of the chosen charity Marie Curie Cancer Care, runs the undulating course each year, and, I found out, could be any one of the fine bunch of Pudsey Pacers. This did not bode well, they’re a nippy lot, those Pacers and I half hatched a plan to run as a giant squirrel, because as we all know, squirrels love to dig up bulbs, but the thought of wearing any costume, let alone with with a big furry tail in the record-breaking July heat was too much. I would just have to trust my own speed. Yes, I was doomed.
The start went well, I was off like ungreased lightning, holding a steady position near the back of the field. At every turn I was looking for the green and yellow behind me, waiting for the inevitable. I was slightly comforted that it didn’t happen until the big hill at the seven kilometre mark when, but don’t tell anyone, she took off her flower head to reveal a very sweaty face and soaking wet hair. The all-over foam and fur costume had no vents and poor Sharon (yes, we were on first name terms, it seemed churlish to call her Nemesis) must have been half the woman she was when she set off. All thoughts of tripping her up and pushing her into the nettles disappeared, I felt ashamed for having such a thought. Especially when she revealed that none of the guys were prepared to do it, so she had volunteered. We got to the top of a hill, she put her head back on and was off like a shot,
We met up again, I finished some little time after she did and she was kind enough to keep the sweaty costume on for just a little while longer to be photographed with us and then to let me try on her head. The word ‘nemesis’ was never even mentioned.
So that makes it Daffodil 2 Anne 0. I think I’m going to have to get in training for next year right now, because it’s not going to beat me again!