Last night was the annual Woodland Relay that the club partakes in. This is my third relay and the two previous years the weather has been glorious. Being held in England’s summer that good luck was never going to hold out.
Yesterday our dry spell ran out and our empty water butt is now full. The rain started slowly in the afternoon but by 5 pm it had picked up, at 5:30 I was messaging my team member to see if she could do something about it, after all she does work for the Met Office. Apparently she doesn’t have that much influence!
I collected said team mate, the brave soul (read stupid) had adopted for the ‘skin is waterproof’ attitude and chosen to wear shorts! Our journey to the periphery of Woodbury Common was an adventure in itself. The iPhone cleverly picked up a local closed road re-routing us, however it didn’t pick up a flooded road (norm for Devon) or take in to consideration that I don’t do big puddles in a car, not where I can’t see how deep there are. This was followed by a 6 point turn in the middle of the lane to retreat. Finally we got to the car park, faring better than others who got lost or ended up in alternative ‘dodgy’ car parks reporting sighting of cars with steamed up windows!
I read a blog once where someone had written that as it was raining they opted to go to the gym and use the treadmill. I think they lived in California. Dodging the rain living in the UK is not really an option and after 13 years of running rain does not bother me. But never before have I been wet before a run, wetter during the run and soaked after the run. Conditions were dire. Waiting for ‘A’ runner to return, I stripped my top off probably way too early, wearing a vest due to the ‘skin is waterproof’ mindset I was soon very wet. The rain was settling in with vengeance and water was trickling down my back. Then I spotted her, runner ‘A’ ascending the lovely up hill to the finish.
Quick hand slap and I was off, like a race horse out the starting gate (this might be an exaggeration), down the long hill. Through the river that was now gushing down it. The route was a bottom heavy figure of eight ish. One small loop back to the start and then one never ending long loop back to the finish. The puddles were unavoidable and deep and hid foot eating sand. On more than one occasion I nearly swan dived in to the water which would not have been funny at all! It was undulating but not super tough although I am not a great lover of the up hill finish. As runner ‘B’ I handed off to runner ‘C’ safe in the knowledge that he would make up any ground I lost as he is one of the speedies in the club.
Then it was time to put dry clothes on, on top of wet clothes and wait for everyone from club to finish, huddled under umbrellas, trying to avoid the run off. I think three clubs were represented and we must have had the most teams, which goes to show the club is full of hardcore or mad members, the jury is out on which it is.
Now all I have to do is de silt and dry my trainers ready for an ‘event’ on Saturday.