The race is run and I’ve squelched the mile back to the car leaving a trail of mud and other trail debris behind me.Yes, I’ve loved every step, except perhaps the one into the immense pile of poo, but I’m cold, I’m wet, I’m muddy, I’m sweat-soaked and I want to get all my kit off, right there in the car park.
I have a bag of dry clothes I need to exchange for my wet ones, but it’s as if the entire population of Leeds has suddenly decided to converge on Middleton Park to watch the rain, there can be no other reason to be here on a very wet January Sunday.
Clearly modesty forbids me from implementing Plan A, subtitled ‘If no-one’s around, can nudity be truly public?’ It’s been done before, with only the birds watching and wondering about the blindingly white mud-spattered biped, but today it’s not an option. Fortunately, there’s Plan B, The Booicore, made possible by Noel, who’s fed up of me muddying up the car with my changing room antics and so bought me a self-contained changing room.
This cross between a hoodie and a towel is big enough to make camp in. Its huge armholes mean the fiddly faffiness of relieving the tension on a highly-sprung sports bra can be done in the warmth and dry without fear of exposure or the unhooked extra-strong elastic catapulting into the nearest tree.
I’m aware I look like a bluer, fuzzier version of Casper the Friendly Ghost as I thrash around in the middle of the car park hopping on one leg and then the other as I peel off the sodden leggings. But still, modesty is preserved, even if it is a little drafty around the houses. The hood seems like a good idea except when it comes to taking off my running vest, I mean, how can I keep the hood up and pull a vest over my head and stay warm? The solution involved me disappearing tortoise-style into the body of the Booicore.
Not my quickest ever car park change, but certainly the driest and the Booicore had the added benefit of wiping all the wet mud off my legs, though it did spread it over the rest of my body and clothes as I thrashed around to change Still, better than Plan A. And one day it may stop raining so I won’t need to change at all!