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A weekend at the races

And so it begins. 18 weeks of training for the London Marathon. Every run is now scheduled; every run will be logged; every run, from this day forth (well, Monday 9th December) has a purpose.

So what better way to say goodbye to a life of fun running than with a weekend of fun races?! First, the Santa Dash along the seafront with the fabulous Jen, Mr Jen aka G and Bez.  Jen wrote about the Dash more wonderfully than I ever could, but she’s asked me to share a picture of the actual, real life Father Christmas… and here he is!

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It was such a fun way to see in the start of the Christmas season, if not a REALLY roasting hot way. I wore far too many clothes – a phrase I honestly never thought I’d say!

If there’s a Santa Dash near you, I’d definitely recommend doing it – grab some equally crazy friends and sweat it out as Santa. Just don’t expect to fly round, as you’ll be hindered somewhat by beards and trousers.

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Sooooo, Sunday – and the fabulous Mince Pie 10 miler: a hilly, windy beautiful course out in the back wilds of Sussex.

The organisation: The thing with small races that I’ve discovered, is that, as a rule, they are somewhat more impressively organised than big races. Trully. The “bag drop” was a breeze, you could wait inside until 5 minutes before the start, it didn’t matter if you’d forgotten your number – ahem, Gavin Hill – and there were plenty of loos. The start was just outside the back of the leisure centre, and we were welcomed along by a very, very loud lady on the mic and a solid starting bang.  There were loads of super friendly marshals all over the route, as well as photographers (my favourite part of any race) and it was really easy to negotiate the course. The finish was equally smooth – you were cheered over the line by loud speaker and presented your medal by some very smiley (cold!) children.

The race: The route was lovely: it was a looped journey around some hills, streets and woods. I’m not actually sure where we were, as we got there on the bus, and I don’t really understand buses. I think it was near Peacehaven – which will mean nothing to anyone who doesn’t live within 5 miles of Peacehaven. It was very hilly: I hate hills, and struggled up a couple whilst Bez charged ahead on his giant legs.  If it had rained, it would’ve been terribly muddy and dirty, but thankfully, it hadn’t.  The run was actually a bit longer than 10 miles (or so I’m told: I didn’t wear Gavin the Garmin as it’s the last run I’ll be able to do bare wristed for a while!) and the last mile felt looooooooooooooooooooooooong – because it was.  It was definitely a ‘trail’ race, and props to all the super speedy people. I really enjoyed it, but realised I’m much more comfortable running on the road.

My race: Bez and I ran together the whole way (n’awww) and finished in around 1:24. I won.

I got a stitch at mile 4, which hung around for a couple’a miles, which was horrible – especially running downhill! We got passed by a veteran be-shorted man that told us to run faster down the hill, but it hurt too much to zoom: and Bez was too much of a gentleman/too scared of me to run away himself.

I really enjoyed the run, although it was really tough at times: the wind along the top of some of the hills was bitterly cold and, sorry to go on about it, but it was proper hilly. I loved running with Bez – as I always do, and we had a ton of fun racing people, each other and high five-ing Gavin’s sons and Father Beresford. It’s always better to run with friends – this weekend has proven that more than ever!

The goodies: It was called the ‘Mince Pie 10’, so of course, at the finish were mince pies! Now, being on a ‘faddy diet’ I can’t eat mince pies (which I am really very sad about – they were my FAVOURITE 😦 ), but Bez enjoyed having two. The goodie bag also had chocolate, crisps and fruit – 66% Cathy-friendly. Excellent. Image

Happy Bez

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Not so happy Drew. I might state my dietary requirements next time.

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