Bedford Clangers: Fetchies Don't Give Up!
(27 Miles)

March 2010

Banner "Support Bedford Hospital Charity" and "I love mum"

Noel, the organiser of Bedford Clangers, accepted my entrance. My entrance of, "please can I drag my tyre in your event". Of course there were a couple of concerns that had to be allayed, but I was very happy to be given the green light.

The week of the marathon was a hard week to plough through, with a couple of unnecessary personal things happening. Then the hockey club asked me to play 2 games on the Saturday, the day before the marathon. The club had were down on numbers, I would be the 9th player. I do enjoy chasing after a ball and would probably be happy coming back in my next life as a dog!

The Day Before

Two hard games of hockey running up and down a pitch, left me shattered, and wondered how this would affect me the next day. Hockey ended in the early evening and as the night went by and I tried to sleep, I realised that I had not drunk enough water after the day's activities. I was very dehydrated and my niggling head became a throbbing headache. I got up during the night and guzzled 250 ml water in an attempt to reduce the pain

The Day

The Weather: Cold, cloudy and windy

Race HQ
Morning: my head still hurts and mentally I don't feel too well. However physically I am fine. Breakfast was a bowl of cereal, scrammbled eggs and lots more water. Uncle Wayne helps me get to the venue. Thank goodness as we hit upon 2 road blocks and got lost due to diversions. Anyway we got there!

A quick banner with "I love mum", a quick hug from RichK :-) and I was off.

Within the first mile was a hill, a nice grassy hill! As I struggled up, I was reminded that I'd only practiced once with the tyre in a Parkrun 5K event, supporting SharonG as she was coming back from injury. A runner from Bedford Ramblers took pity on me and decided to help me drag the tyre up the hill before going on his way with a cheery "enjoy your run".

Hill and field headings towards Bromham. I meet lady and dog in this field.

I next see a lady walking her dog. "Happy Mother's Day" I call out.

She replies: "That's a whole load of cod's wallop.....all commercial rubbish!"

I laugh: "It's driving the card, flowers and chocolate industry! Anyway have a nice day"

She calls out as I am now 5 meters away from her: "Say, hold on there". I stop and turn around. "Are you trying to raise money for that charity?" she points at my makeshift banner.

"Yes I guess so"

"Well I know you're trying to hurry on your way but I would like to give you something for your efforts"

The lady hands me a tenner and tells me she is an old age pensioner. I tell her it is very kind of her, but not necessary for her to donate any money. She tells me that she has enough and that she'll be out walking her dog the whole day. I laugh and thank her for her generousity.

A couple more runners pass, and more hills to go over. Over one hill, a bracing cold wind blew hard and stopped me in my tracks. Climbing another hill into a full blast of wind, made me begin to rethink if I really did want to carry on dragging the tyre. I got to CP1 (check point one), and found I'd taken nearly 2.5 hours to get to 7.5 miles. I was calculating time and it wasn't looking good from having told Noel I'd complete in about 8-9 hours. However, Tess and Trish were just so encouraging, I thought I'd just see how much more time it would take.

I called Uncle Wayne to tell him, I was past CP1 and heading onto CP2. He calls back and tells me he does not understand the route directions and has to get a map as he is lost.

Noel is bringing up the rear and catches up with me somewhere after CP1 and before Mowsbury Woods.

Me: "Noel, I think I've taken too much time and better give up the tyre at CP2"

Noel: "No problem, I'll wait for you at the end"

Me: "Hey no that's okay cos I ain't gonna get in the time I told you I would"

Noel: "No problem at all. I live only a mile away from the end point"

Me: "Okay how about I call you once I get to the end, so you folks can eat/hang out in a pub"

Noel: "Yeah sounds great. I'll wait for your call. We'll have to close CP2 but we'll leave some drink and food for you"

Me: "Oh don't worry about that, my support buddy will be bringing me food and water at the half way mark"

Noel continues on his journey of checking thru his route, or perhaps it is his LSR (long slow run) today. I text Uncle where I am in the route directions. He calls and tells me he is having difficulty with the directions as he is trying to follow it backwards. I believe he is reading his Chinese :P

Deciding that I should be prudent, I stop at the PolHill Arms, drag my tyre to the benches and tell it to stay. Folks are peering out of the pub window looking at me bewildered. I top up with water to see me onto the next point. It is fortunate it is cold as I do not need much water. Although I am snacking through the mars bars I brought in pretty quick time. The rest of the journey is uneventful, although I got a little lost from lack of concentration and have to relocate where I am. Good thing Noel was on hand to call.

I eventually meet Uncle about a couple of miles away from the end with some water that I am grateful for. He hands me food, but I've already now eaten 5 mars bars so feel nicely fuelled. The sun has not completely set yet and I get to the end point, and call Noel. He comes out to greet me from the pub and the event is ended with a hug :o)

Thank you Noel for the use of your photos to show my journey and for your fantastic support