Sunday, 25 March 2012
a short run in the park
Like many, when I volunteered for Sport Relief today, I'd forgotten the change of clock times. I still somehow managed to be in the right place early enough to notice an early chill on my arms.
Soon forgotten as I turned the corner into Horseguards Parade. Crowds of people were already forming and after I'd pinned my number I moved towards the funnel ready for the start.
I'd donned the official tee-shirt with its big red logo and those red Union Jack socks, but there were plenty of Supermen, ballerinas, Spidermen, hirsute Barbie dolls, running club athletes with stop watches and family groups, including a pram and a push-chair.
Then a chance to spot a few celebrity runners and join the warm-up routines before our 'Wave A' were dispatched into the Mall.
It was only when we were running that I really got a sense of the numbers. I could see the part where the route folded back on itself, initially empty, but soon filling so that by the time I was on that section we had a solid block of runners in both directions. There were plenty of different running speeds, and I think my most memorable 'being overtaken moment' was when a huge SpongeBob SquarePants raced past me.
Of course we were running past famous landmarks like Buckingham Palace, but that aspect somehow blurred into the main experience; it was more about seeing the people than the sights.
And then, rather quickly, the finish came into view and apart nearly tripping over a marker cone, I was over the line and being offered a bottle of water. A few seconds later, a medal. A thoroughly entertaining way to raise money for a great cause as well as acquire a couple of minor new aches.