Linda Cohen’s marathon race blog – Muddy boots

It’s 9am on Saturday morning and I’m at the Wotton Park Run. It’s bitterly cold but all the marshalls are smiling broadly and looking encouraging. I think rather sourly that I might be feeling moderately more cheerful if I was dressed in ten layers of fleece and padded jacket rather than a thin t-shirt and cut off leggings.

I can hear the teeth chattering of a group of first timers huddled together for warmth, their new neon outfits full of optimism. It probably seemed like a good idea when they were egging each other on with Prosecco in hand on Facebook.

Talking of wind it’s picking up now and icy. Good we’re trundling down to the start. The pre-run instructions are designed to get us in the mood, we cheer a birthday, first timers and tourists from London and Wales.

The director’s step ladder is slowly sinking in the mud. There’s a shake of the bell and we’re off.

I’ve been doing this run most for 10 weeks and the rain has falling ever since. As a consequence, the ground is a mud bath (in certain places up to your ankles). I plough through the first swamp and remind myself there’s a bit of downhill next.

It’s tempting on mornings like this to feel every so slightly sorry for yourself. As I feel myself starting on the ‘poor me’ bit, a marshall shouts ‘well done’ and a bit of wintery sun comes through and I’m reminded why I’m doing this.

It’s part of my (less than scientific) build up to running the Bath Half in March to raise money for Throat Cancer Foundation for my friend M who’s
fought through the treatment.

He called me heroic for fundraising and training but the bravery of those who have to go through treatment and their families is beyond compare. Throat Cancer is little known and as a result not often a choice for fundraising.

I think of M’s most recent email and the picture of the new puppy. I remember the ‘Walk The Wall’ sequence in Officer and a Gentleman, think Richard Gere and push on up the hill where coffee and chocolate awaits.

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