Course: Some hills
Route Description: Map + course stickers across London.
Organisation and volunteers: Fantastic
Food: Sweeties, chocolate, sausage rolls
Drink: Water initially then coke and energy drink
Weather: Dry, cold but sunny (@ 2 degs C - 9 degs C)
Start Time: 08:00
Start Location: City of London Sports Ground, Eltham, SE12 9PP
Monies raised for EarthWatch: £6.50 (thank you kind runner)
WARNING: Some faint-hearted individuals might find some of this blog offensive.
TG had promised this would be a very urban affair. No stiles to toss me over, no muddy tracks, no cow dung to plough through.....just pavements, a couple of urban park trails and a number of roads to cross. I might for once be mud free.
Jen (organiser) kicked us off at 08:00 an hour ahead of everyone. In theory if all went smoothly TG estimated we would reach our first check point (6 miles) before seeing any other runners. Jen's final words were "Don't worry you won't got lost, the beginning is very well marked."
TG is susceptible to NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) suggestions early in the morning as her Left brain only comes alive in the late morning. Even though she looks quite competent reading a map, her Right brain will guide her along an imaginary route and her mind will play on the words "You will get lost".
20 minutes into the event and TG had already taken the wrong road. You might wonder how TG could get lost when the route was so well marked. It is part due to her right brain reading the map and her right brain wanting to take photographs of urban features (see below)
Before I talk about the wonderful Donkey Boy, I noticed that London's pavements are lined with...dog poo. Yes from City of London sports centre through to Crystal Palace to Streatham Common.....yucky mushy dog poo. We watched as dog owners took they little doggies (Londoners seem to like little dogs like terriers) out for a walk and allow the dogs to simply poo/wee anywhere.
Come on Londoners clean up your dog mess!
Meeting Donkey Boy (DB) at around mile 9 was a godsend as TG was not always that careful about making sure I didn't knock into the stuff. We're talking about getting a little too close for comfort. From Amani (Kilimanjaro), I learned if there is someone who likes to carry, we tyres can call upon them.
And so I used the power of the tyre. First call I got it wrong. He asked TG if he could try dragging me. He did and tired himself out after 1/2 a mile (thank goodness). TG took back over and I was pulled over swan poo. I don't like poo just as humans do not like stepping on poo. I had to practice the call again. From miles 11 to 18 I had got DB under my control.
I just needed to let him know - "Poo ahead!" I was instantly picked up and carried. For some reason after CP2, DB began to trust TG's map navigation skills. Big mistake as he soon discovered that TG likes circles. Worst still she hadn't recognised we were back were we started. As we faced Streatham Common, TG still reading her map wrong, a runner came to meet us. This added further confusion to TG who thought the runner was going in the wrong direction! Thankfully DB was on the ball otherwise the additional mile would have probably turned into 3!
Perhaps it was the extra distance, or perhaps it was TG's singing, but DB began to tire. A mile before CP3, we lost DB. I couldn't see him and TG was merrily in her own world pulling away. I was not going to carry on without him. He had the empathy I needed to carry me over big poo, diarrhea poo, spluggy poo, hard poo, splattered poo....gross poo. I tugged on her harness to u-turn to find DB. 100 metres back he had sat down on a ledge looking slightly pale. He was dehydrated and "hitting a wall". TG convinced him CP3 was just round the corner and made him follow her water bottle.
Struggle to CP3
Splattered dog poo......DB instinctively went to pick me up, but TG made him put me down. Sorry I had panicked but we needed to get him to CP3 to revive his weary body. DB's normal lanky bouncy stride was replaced with a tortuous struggle. But with self determination we got him to CP3 were he could binge on sweeties, chocolate and sausage rolls. DB's "camel back" was replenished with an energy drink and he slammed dunked 2 cans of coca cola.
10 minutes later, TG was keen to get moving as CP3 was in a freezing wind tunnel in the shade of the park. (CP3 thank you for braving those winds for us).
To The End
A mile later DB was back with us. His colour had returned, however TG would not allow him to pick me up :-( Wimbledon Common was a sticky mud bath. Just imagine your treads being dragged through thick viscous mud. TG ignored my tugs and battled on. There was only one person who could help me. It was time to use the full power of the tyre. DB heard me loud and clear and despite my dirty treads picked me up over the last muddy patch before we exited the park to Richmond Park.
In Richmond Park we had caught up with IPad boy (he had helped earlier on to ensure TG had not diverted in the wrong direction) and his buddy. DB was stronger now and before we hit another muddy patch, my hero carried me to safety.
CP4: We met the awesome Uncle and the delightful May still hanging out waiting for us. They had a lovely spot by the river in the now waning sun.
Syon Park to Brentford, TG and DB began to sense the end as we followed the canal path. But TG had to have a small "relief" stop. She unhitched me and I knew this was the moment I could squeek to my DB to take me away. As TG's numb cold fingers struggled to pull down her trousers, DB picked me up and we headed further down the river. There was nothing she could as she had to concentrate to hold her bladder whilst struggling to simply pull down her trousers. TG was having cold finger problems, but I was happy with my DB as we danced over glutinous muddy tracks. As we did a final pirouette round a corner, I could see TG had finally managed to sort herself out and knew she would be after us.
My worn treads were tired of being dragged around on the ground and so I urged DB to move quicker. I wanted this all to end, to be back on top of Landy (he's my big hunky tyre) but TG soon caught up the 1/2 a mile distance we had made from her. I was soon back on the ground being dragged. I was sliced by a rock and wriggled with more resistance to being dragged, DB noticed but TG ignored my pleas.
Within the Perivale park, close to the end DB took final pity on me and scooped me up into his big arms. TG insisted he put me back down but I would not let him. My Landy wouldn't want a treadless tyre with him. However with the Perivale sports building in sight DB gently put me down to allow TG to run to the finish.
I am a battered, abused tyre and Landy won't rub rubber with me. He has been flirting with some of the younger tyres but I know the 5K runs are taking their toll and he will lose the groove with the younger tyres. We'll be back together again soon.
I am now taking a break with my mother (Tam).
TG's point of view and note: To all tyre activist....My tyres are well looked after. Red has been a difficult tyre and I think a little spoilt. She is the first tyre who has complained about muddy grounds, pools of water, etc. Landy has never had a problem with them, having bathed frequently in mud but has rubbed his mucky underside on Red! This may have upset Red.
Having read Red's diary I have decided to send Landy & Red to see a tyre-rator to hopefully reconcile any differences.