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Hare and Hounds

posted 18 Jan 2016, 22:50 by Jon Beverley   [ updated 1 Mar 2016, 01:48 ]
26th December 2015: Report by Leona Broughton

Imagine an indulgent Christmas with all the trimmings including cheese, wine and meat. 

Imagine 0745 Boxing Day when you find yourself in a Cheerleader outfit with your trail running shoes on waiting for your lift to pick you up. The moment arrives when you peek out of the window and see fellow Cheerleaders waiting for you, you think to yourself “Are we really going to do this”. The next second I am out of the door in the car and we are on our way to Felthorpe. 

We arrive just gone 8am in a small village, I feel a bit silly in my Cheerleader outfit but this is short lived; as soon as we enter the Village Hall we are surrounded by runners dressed in a array of crazy, inspired outfits. I consider ours momentarily and decide at least it will easier to run in when compared to others. 

After registration and team photos, we Vaseline our feet, legs and anywhere else it is needed and get ready to start. It’s a handicapped race and we are the 17th team out of 19 to go, a staggering 34 minutes behind the first. I know I am slowest in the team so the pressure is on to attempt to keep up with the boys.

We start off running through the playing fields and on the road, already overtaken by fellow Reepham Runners ‘ The Big Tenors’.  We enter the woods and it’s usual cross country terrain, some stumps to watch out for, logs to jump over but minimal mud. 

We reach approx 3.5 miles and I hear myself saying out loud “I don’t feel too bad and we are almost half way”. Then we hit the mud, more like the mud hits us! It gets everywhere, it’s up to my hips, I cannot get my feet up and we end up holding hands dragging each other out.  Then we hit the Drewary this is unbelievably hard, and of course there is a photographer there to capture the moment. 

The mud stinks, its heavy, its impenetrable and following Nick B’s lead I force myself to immerse my hands and arms and crawl.  Crawling in mud is not easy, it wears your entire body out, but I discovered that I was good at it in comparison to the boys so for the first time since the start I overtook them! 

We then ran on, me feeling a bit fatigued but not being allowed to walk (thanks to Nick B the task master). 

Then I lose track of the race, there were ditches that we had to throw ourselves in and heave each other out of; rivers that we ran down.  We got into a rhythm, Nick B first, Shaun next to ascertain the depth, then me so they could pull me out followed by Leigh or James. 

There were more fields, more mud, we overtook gnomes, crayons, a bear, an evening party and pirates to name a few! 

By mile 7 I was tired; I had fallen over a few times mainly on stumps in the woods. I was wobbling around at times and remember being told to ‘pick my feet up and keep running’.

Finally, we were out of the woods, back on a road. I was being told that the end was in sight. Then there we were - proud Cheerleaders from Reepham Runners running in to victory. I somehow managed to find an energy burst to sprint the last few metres leaving the boys behind much to their shock! I have since been called a ‘Glory Hunter’. 

But on a serious note, it was such fun (and for charity), I had never participated in a team race before and without all the boys I would not have made it to the end. They all helped me whether it was by shouting instructions, to kind supportive words or when they were pulling and pushing me out of ditches.  

They were patient as I was the slowest team member but we came in 10th which overall is a good position. 

Would I do it again next year? Definitely! I will consider wearing gloves though as the stinky mud is a nightmare to get out of your nails! 

Thanks to Nick Bowden, James Beadle, Leigh Nobes and Shaun Webb my fellow Cheerleaders. 

Lastly, well done to Carl Willimott, Richard Dade and team (including Craig Farr who unfortunately sustained an injury so was unable to complete the race) who secured position 6.