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Well, I did it. Yesterday I ran my leg of The Moodie Multi-National Marathon. And it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be – reader, it was much, much worse. Today is no better. I’m stiffer in the hips than Gavin Henson on Strictly Come Dancing.
In hindsight, my night-before preparation was perhaps not ideal. My take on eating fruit and carb-loading consisted of getting outside a bottle of rosé and consuming my own body weight in loaded potato skins. Consequently, my pre-run breakfast was a shot of Berocca and two Paracetamol (ooh, Cannes flashback).
Things didn’t improve when I broke a fingernail lacing up my trainers. But eventually, clad in my lucky purple gym top and clipped to an iPod newly loaded with “Now That’s What I Call Running”, off I went.
To be fair, the first 5K wasn’t so tough. Sustained by tracks such as Journey’s “Be Good to Yourself” (oh, the irony) and Labrinth’s “Earthquake”, I made good time. Too good, perhaps. Got a lucky cocky. Ran a little too fast.
Consequently, by the time I hit 6K it was all going wrong; not enough fitness or form. I was rocking and rolling more than Elvis. Infernal’s “From Paris to Berlin” illustrated exactly how far the run seemed to be. That last (painfully slow) 500m was endless. The track that brought me home? AC/DC’s “Whole Lotta Rosie”. The beat played havoc with my stride pattern but the energy of Angus & co kept me going to the finish.
My time was 43.02. Four minutes slower than last year. Not great, but not awful either, at least, not for a 42-year old, asthmatic, knock-kneed mother of two. With a mild hangover. And absolutely no pre-run training.
In case you hadn’t guessed, I didn’t exactly enjoy it. I’m not, and never will be, a Running Mann. But what kept me going was the knowledge that I was not alone. That all over the world, travel retail was taking to the track, terrain and treadmill to run this Marathon too. And that all money raised would go to such a deserving cause, Hand in Hand for Haiti.
To date, thanks to a staggering show of support, the running total has already reached an estimated US$240,000, with over US$184,000 pledged via the official fund-raising site. But there is still time to donate (click here for details).
To everyone who ran or walked, fast or slow, I salute you. To everyone who supported and donated, I thank you too. You have made a real difference to the children – and future – of Haiti.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go and lie down.