An ‘interesting’ morning in Thurrock!

All smiles despite the chaos and the smell

All smiles despite the chaos and the smell

Last year as a rookie canicrosser I took part in the Thurrock 10k- smashing 3 minutes off my PB despite monsoon weather conditions. So Purfleet (never thought I would say this!) holds happy memories for me, and it was a date in the calendar I was eager to book in for 2015. I did, and then along came Stort30.
Having booked both, and then doing an Ultra at the end of September, I decided to defer Stort and focus on getting ever closer to the hour mark for my 10k. Confidence was rightly high- a 60.07 a few weeks before (Rafa pit stop putting pay to a sub 60) and then the last 3 weeks getting quicker and quicker at parkrun (29.10- 28.32-25.46); felt like the fitter mid-marathon training me was returning.
Then last week happened. No running in the week. Had a mini meltdown with my eating as I all too often do. Thursday was a messy evening of Curry Club with Samantha, Rebecca, Holly and Erin (who appears to feel just as at home in the pub as daddy Scotty!) followed by a late night Friday being chased by a group of chainsaw wielding men with Dan (No this wasn’t on the Friday night Flyers run at Belfairs!). Up early Saturday for flying the Flyers flag at Chelmsford Parkrun. First kilometre strong (about 4 minutes) then I died. I literally had no energy at all. This did not bode well tomorrow. Even a KFC couldn’t perk my energy up. Samantha had even booked up just to pace me. The pressure was on, and all I truly wanted to do was stay in bed and feel sorry for myself. This PB wasn’t going to happen.
Sunday morning didn’t start well. Will spare you the details. Jumped in the car to go to Shoebury to pick up Samantha and Andrew (who wanted dropping off at Hadleigh to run to Purfleet- loon!) and then off to get Terry. Quick stop via Costa in Thorpe Bay (who know Samanthas order without her even opening her mouth!) and then on to pick up Vicci who promised to she’d be on the street corner waiting! Car full, and we were off. Eventful journey of stopping at green lights, emergency stops and red lights and driving on the wrong side of the road (people love a car trip with me), we arrived there to chaos that made my driving look elite!
We knew Cheryl, Clive and Dan would be there. Clive was certain the race started at 10.45am, having seen 10.30, 10.45 and 11am advertised. None of the organisers seemed to know! But then they confirmed Clive was right. Next problem- where does the race start? Another thing the organisers didn’t seem to know! distance varied from a few seconds walk from the Royal Hotel to half a mile down the road. Numbers being given out- again, chaos- Terry being given a number for the White City 10K! Having walked to the start, we seemed to wait around forever. And the smell on Rainham Marshes was horrific, which wasn’t helping my rather delicate stomach! I did not recall it being this bad last year! The mood relaxed because it was such a joke, and talk of men with the horn had us giggling like school kids. Starting photo taken, eventually we were ready for the off. Race start time probably about 10.52am so nobody was right!

Clive being pushed really hard for a new PB

Clive being pushed really hard for a new PB

I started off from the back with a good pace, and the second mile even quicker, but I soon started to feel I could not sustain it. Running behind someone who looked like and ran like a my little pony was off putting so I told Samantha we needed to push on or that would annoy me! When I started talk that I couldn’t carry on like this Samantha really shouted at me. She hadn’t got out of bed on a Sunday morning to not get me a PB! We had a few people wanting to run in twos which on the narrow out and back path was a nightmare to over-take. We had an incident with an off lead dog. When they shouted abuse at me I wasn’t in the mood to tolerate it- but didn’t have it in me for a full on argument so they got a loud, aggressive, two syllable response from me! That incident lost us time, we were on for a 56 at that point.

Looking Strong!

Looking Strong!

All the other flyers were looking strong- Dan leading the flyers pushing Clive hard for a PB, Cheryl looking strong and relaxed, Vicci rapid in her first ever race and Terry being so relaxed he stopped for a loo break!

Cheryl looking relaxed- Terry sneaking off to the loo!

Cheryl looking relaxed- Terry sneaking off to the loo!

The last part of the race was hard. I stopped a few times. Samantha resorted to physical violence as she often does, grabbing my arm and dragging me forward! (At least I can explain an arm bruise to Steve more convincingly than the hand print on my arse from Colchester this year!!)
I looked at my watch and thought, I’m never going to get a PB. Then I was sick, loud enough for Samantha in front to hear and she laughed and said ‘Good! Push on!’. Sick again. I had just enough to energy to shout ‘I think my guts are going to fall out’ when we saw Andrew up in the distance. This gave Rafa a real spurt of energy to push on and he dragged me over the finish line. I immediately fell to the floor, my legs no longer strong enough to hold my body weight. But I’d managed it- sub one hour.

Finished flyers (minus Clive and Dan, plus support!)

Finished flyers (minus Clive and Dan, plus support!)

News came in that everyone else had got great results too. Year best for Cheryl, PB for Clive, Terry, Vicci and myself. The only people who didn’t PB were Dan and Samantha who I’m sure you will agree did amazing jobs at pacing others (I think they both were pleased with a job well done there!) True flyers spirit!
Support was on route from Eddie Essex, Mr Mac and Clive and Dans family which was much appreciated- Thanks all!
Cheap but disorganised race- t-shirt and medal (although 2 different types of medal- take which you want approach!)
Route changed from last year- more hills now!
Will I do it next year?- yeah why not! Come and join us, just don’t expect it to be organised!

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