Part 1 is available here.
Once again, I have slacked on bringing you part 2 of this report.
How fabulous does Corey look?
After an afternoon of cake, general chat, catching up with the legend who is Louise, and playing with Hal and Rose (who came to visit), it was soon time for my second lap. I was going out at about 8pm, with sundown due to happen about half way round. It was much cooler and I grabbed my LED headtorch from Trespass, changed into a shirt they kindly provided and went to wait for Andrew to run in.
Sabine took this photo of us looking like we’ve totally nailed this handover thing. We hadn’t. It ended up on the floor and I had to pick it up again.
I started out LOVING this lap. It wasn’t hot like earlier, so I felt much more comfortable. I knew the course and I knew where I could push and where to take it easy. I loved the first 5k, running a few minutes quicker than I had earlier in the day. I even ran up the very steep hill and felt like I was on top of the world. London from the peak of the summit looked amazing and it was a beautiful time to run. The shirt was also wonderful to run in, lightweight, comfortable, had a handy zip pocket and was a lovely colour. Unfortunately, I hadn’t thought to check my headtorch and when the sun went down and it turned dark, I had a problem.
I couldn’t see. My torch didn’t offer sufficient light and on that course, it was important to have your wits about you. I ended up looping the torch round my wrist and tried to light my way like that, but it was a poor source. Perfect for lighting the way in the campsite, but not so for trail running. I’d been confident of running 1:05 on this loop, alas time slipped away as I slowed to a walk to watch my footing. At the 5 mile mark, I felt especially grumpy as this was where I’d been able to push earlier. However, with the steep downhill section and the shade, I was in darkness and simply couldn’t see a thing. My night time vision is bad anyway, which didn’t help. Another runner came along and I tried to stick to him for a bit to use his light source, but he was just a bit too quick for me. I eventually came back into campsite feeling a bit conflicted – great because I felt strong and had enjoyed most of it, but frustrated because I felt so strong and knew if I’d been able to see properly, I would have been much quicker. Nevertheless, I ran more or less an identical time to the earlier lap. Corey went out looking good and came back absolutely buzzing. A couple of beers and it was time for bed.
Oh my word, that night. Whilst Kat braved two laps, I lay in bed shivering. Forget Essex in summer, this was the North Pole, minus polar bears. I lay awake shivering all night, desperately trying to get warm. Compared to the night before, where I was fine with just a nightshirt and sleeping bag, I had on woolly socks, thermal leggings, layers, a hat and still couldn’t warm up. I pathetically bleated on Twitter about being cold. So I was pretty grumpy at 5.30am when it was time to go out. I was exhausted from two nights of not sleeping. And I was so cold that my muscles had tensed up and everything hurt. Cassie came to see me off and as Andrew ran in (we exchanged well this time), I realised I’d forgotten my race number. Cassie kindly ran off to get it for me, but this wasted a couple of minutes. Which ultimately cost us a position in the overall standings, not that I’m competitive or anything…
That final lap hurt so much, but what a stunning time of day. After a mile, nothing was loosening up and my muscles kept screaming at me for being cold. I eventually adopted a walk/run approach the whole way round, having a chat with a couple of people and enjoying the beautiful sunrise. After crossing the line to Cassie, I started crying, before being pacified with warm clothes and a Baileys coffee. It was medicinal.
The other girls ran great in their third laps, although it soon looked like Andrew wasn’t going to make his third lap. So he partnered up with Mollie for the final lap and she ran another great lap, looking strong as we ran her home over the line.
23 laps, 136 miles and some great friendships forged.
Thank you team, you were an absolute pleasure and I will never forget our #fitspire weekend!