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Thursday, 29 March 2012

A Sport Relief Sunday

On Sunday 25th March 2012, three friends turned up at Charterhouse Club, Godalming on a bright sunny morning, ready to rock some high-viz wear, and wave radios around: we marshalled Godalming's first EVER Sport Relief Mile!
Dr G acing the art of Smaistcoat - you get the idea.

Lee and Cla Smigh-Vizing. Oh yes.
If you are unfamiliar with the Sport Relief mile - how is that possible?! - it's an event run across the UK simultaneously at hundreds of places, where people pay to enter this run and are sponsored by their friends, relatives, coworkers etc to complete a distance of 1, 3 or 6 miles.

Charterhouse Club organised and ran Godalming's first ever Sport Relief Mile and it went BRILLIANTLY!
Over 600 people ran during the day and raised loads of dosh while having, quite frankly, a fantastic time.

Lee was helping on the water station AKA The Charterhouse Arms (pictured below with his two bar-stewards joining in the pre-6 mile run warm-up as run by Liz)

Hup two three four.
 I was in charge of the corner where people either went round again to complete another lap, or carried on to the finish line. That was ace fun. I lost count of people's laps, but that didn't matter.

I also did jumping.

 We watched with huge interest as the 6 mile and 3 mile run took place - some people chose to walk to whole 6 miles, some took their pace at a slow and steady jog, and there was a massive mix of ages who completed this long circuit. Everyone had a great big grin on their face too. The winner (it wasn't a race, but he was the winner) completed the approximately 6 mile circuit in around 35 minutes!!!! Imagine doing that with 10kgs on your back... We've got standards to live up to now.
The Godalming Sport Relief Mile "It's not a race but you're the winner" winner. 

We took the opportunity to prepare for the 400 runners doing the 1-mile race by making the Water Station super-efficiently packed with water....

Does your local do THIS?

Then came the 1 mile run. We saw....

A not-so-Little Chef

...the 118 family...

...and a family of robots!.. 

 Look at the blue skies! Look at how happy everyone is! It was a brilliant day, and everyone did fantastically well. It was so exciting to be at the corner where everyone came round and spied the finish line - we saw some very impressive sprint finishes, especially from the youngsters.
All in all, a great morning, superbly organised by Josie at Charterhouse Club. To top it all off, as volunteers we were offered free 3 week memberships at Charterhouse Club - just the thing we need to mix up our training a bit - we've already started running on the track and having a swim, and next week holds many exercise classes too...

AND I got chauffeur-driven by Jason on a John Deere. Luxury.

So that was our morning. Using radios, feeling important in high-vis, and watching other people exhaust themselves running. Fun, right?!


I didn't want to run anywhere in the afternoon. I wanted to curl up in the sun and have a lovely snoozy nap. Unfortunately, when Greensand Way training calls, it can't be ignored...

We'd decided to run Merry Harriers -> Gibbett Hill and back; a distance purported to be 7 miles each way by the maps, but we have measured consistently as being somewhat closer to 18 miles in total...

Lee utilises slopes to his height advantage at the Merry Harriers nr Greensand Way
As in times before, we came across a freshly laid sawdust hash trail. A-ha, we say! Pistoffen, the elusive secret hashing club have been here! They seem to have almost the same level of obsession with the Greensand Way as we do, as we regularly stumble upon their woody markers.

Is this Pistoffen's way of telling us they want to run the Greensand Way with us?
We took a while to warm up into the run - a mixture of standing about in the sunshine and using our enthusiasm to encourage the Sport Reliefers had sapped our energy somewhat. The weather was just incredible though. Lee took some brilliant photos, and it made a well-known route new and fresh again to see all the blossom and new flowers springing up everywhere.

Blossom on the Greensand Way

Thursley Church must be one of the most photographed churches on the Greensand Way - It's got a great situation, lovely wall, a sundial and a Greensand Way sign pointing right at it. Ideal.

Thursley Church in springtime - Greensand Way
 We passed under the A3 - that's about 5 miles from the pub. Another two warm but lovely miles followed, punctuated by the realisation that I'd forgotten my job of reminding the team to eat. Unfortunately we only had Haribo, which turned out to be disgusting - cementing our belief that Sainsbury's own brand Fruit Jellies are the bestest sweeties ever. Anyway...

The 2 mile ascent to the top of Gibbet Hill was just as neg as the last time, which was just as neg as the time before... It's a horrible hill, just flat enough to be able to attack it but long enough to really start dragging you down mentally. Each time a summit appears to be reached, the path heads downhill briefly for a few metres. Combine that with 3/4 mile of sandy path covered in large unwieldy unfriendly rocks, preventing any kind of stride or confident foot placement...... it's a nightmare and I had a proper strop about it!

The only way I can see that becoming more doable is to practice running up and down Gibbet Hill for hours on end - if anyone fancies joining me?!

Anyway. After almost tears, nearly a punchup and a threat of a flounce home, we arrived at Gibbet Hill, and the view became all completely worth it. We absorbed what felt like the world's comfiest bench - and just SAT DOWN for a bit.

2XU Catalogue pose #121 - smeggings.
Lee decided to have a little sleepy.

Do not wake the sleeping runner - Gibbet Hill, Greensand Way
Having sat, snapped, eaten some chocolate and laughed at every walker's identical reaction to reaching the summit ("Oh thank **** for that!"),  the trundle home started.

When you're tired it's important to keep laughing and keep your brain interested. Otherwise you go a bit mental and start doing things like, oh I don't know...putting your face through tree holes.

 ...or believing you are a mammal-whisperer...

Why the long face? 
Having originally expected to have to run all the way back to Lee's gaff, when Dr G offered her sparkling steed as a pickup from the Merry Harriers, the words "ooh gosh yes please" were texted with haste. Because some days, 20+ miles is just too many...

We covered about 18 miles in about 4 hours with a few little rests and a big sit-down in the middle. Our pace is improving!

The end.
In summary; it was summery. We may have run 18 miles each (in fact, we bloody did!) but that paled into insignificance compared to the miles and smiles completed and produced, and money raised by the 600+ runners for Sport Relief in Godalming on 25th March. So well done to all of you :)

The sweet view of the last field to run through - Hambledon, Greensand Way.

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