We were up at the crack of dawn, a 60-mile drive to run 10km. Seemed like a sensible plan for an Easter Sunday, no matter that we’d lost an hour’s sleep with the change to British Summer Time, this running is a serious business.
Our destination was Helmsley, the North Yorkshire market town, near to where Noel’s daughter and grandchildren live. We thought it would be fun if they could see Grandad Noel fly across the finish line, I assured them I wouldn’t be offended if they didn’t want to hang around waiting for me bringing up the rear. As it turned out, they didn’t have to wait long.
Helmsley is also near the home of Ruth, my Running Mentor. She’s the one who got me into all this running malarky, she’s the one who encouraged me to enter my first 10km eight years ago and today she was the one who stood by my side as we got ready for the starting gun.
Noel greeted her, by default, he’s entered nearly as many races as I have over the past eight years.
“Who’d have thought it would have been Anne dragging me to all these races – and at MY age,” he told Ruth. “Of course, it’s all YOUR fault!”. He smiled, she smiled, I smiled. We were all glad of that first race.
But today was another race and I’d learned so much over the years, including not making the mistake of wearing too many clothes. Though as the wind whipped around the houses and we huddled against the wall to keep warm, I was definitely wondering whether cutting the sleeves off my top had been a good idea and if my exposed calves would suffer frostbite. But Ruth’s Rule, always set off a little on the cold side, you WILL get warmer, proved true.
Of course they both shot off, they are much speedier than I am, but that’s OK. I’m fitter and faster than I was eight years ago and I know how much clothing to wear.