Following lots of rain overnight, it was, thankfully, dry on the morning, pleasantly overcast and not too warm.
Had a small 'lost running number' crisis on arrival. Not having done the race before I didn't realised I should have received a number through the post. Which I didn't. Probably a casualty of the recent postal strikes. Caused a brief panic - 'arrghh, suppose they don't let me run without one! '
I needn't have worried - I was given a nice emergency marker-pen job. Celebrated with a bottle of water before realising the length of the queues for the Portaloos. (But here's a point worth noting - and who will be surprised? 2,500 women, 15 loos in constant use. By the end of the day they were as clean, hygienic and pleasant to use as they were at the outset. Low percentage of men. No beer tent. QED.)
Some of yer actual running. Sun starting to emerge from behind clouds.
Still running . . .
. . . but not used to all this hot sunshine, and completely forgot to sprint over finishing line, but at least I was still doing a passable impression of running, albeit not terrifically fast.
Thankfully no shortage of free bottled water from those nice Tesco chaps. (Nivea, another sponsor, supplied a goodie-bag containing . . . deodorant! Hmmm, thanks!)
Got a shiny medal, though - yeah!
Despite a lot of fairly soggy grass and some bumpy woodland sections, I couldn’t believe how easy it all felt, buoyed up by the goodwill and emotion of it all.
The ‘women only’ thing gave it a fabulous, non-competitive, celebratory atmosphere – all shapes and sizes and ages and conditions. In answer to Every Woman’s Most Urgent Question, yes, my bum DID look big in those lycra leggings, but . . . who cares?