A while ago, the Wiff was having a conversation with some lady friends, and the topic of exercise came up. One thing led to another, and she got herself roped in to join a running group that was doing one of these Couch to 5K programmes. All went well for a couple of weeks, but then one person dropped out with an injured calf. The remaining two kept it up, but then, just as they were getting close to achieving the 5km target, the other one dropped out with a sore back.
However, by this time, the two of them had signed up to run the Myton Hospice Santa Dash – a 5km run to raise money for the running of the three hospices they run in the area. And when Héléne dropped out, there was an available space. No prizes for guessing that the Wiff dragged me into that spot, despite the fact that I hadn’t run in years due to the well-known Dodgy Knee Syndrome (a distant relative of the Spon Plague). I only had the chance for one practice run on Friday evening, and managed that without any problems, so felt pretty confident for Sunday Morning.
The snag, as you might have surmised by now, is that the run takes place while wearing a Santa Suit. I didn’t think too much of this at first – after all, running together with a rotundity of Santas has a certain appeal. But within three minutes of starting, the one-size-fits-all trousers were slipping down, and the jacket, held in place only by a belt, kept sneaking open and falling off the shoulders. Trying to run while re-tying a drawstring through flimsy red felt, and simultaneously holding a jacket on left me feeling like an extra in a Laurel and Hardy movie.
And then, about half-way round the first lap of the 2.5km course, the heavy rain over the previous week had swamped a section of the track, and they sent us on a trek across the fields. As part of this, there was an unavoidable section where the water was sitting about 2 – 3 inches deep. Cue wet shoes, wet socks, and disgruntled runners. And we had to go through it twice. Ugh.
But we did it, and finished in just over 30 minutes. The only regret is that we didn’t really put enough effort into the fundraising. And that my knees were aching by the end of it. I think I’ll be sticking to cycling in future, but will be cheering the Wiff on to longer distance running next year.