Sunday, 8 January 2012

Countyathon Part 4: London

Starring:

Fortnightflo  (Carla)
Abradypus  (Louise)
The Magathon (Me!)

Chapter 1:

"You're doing what?" Mik questioned in amazement.
"I'm running the Regent's Park 10k tomorrow, in London, with a group of other 'Athoner bloggers and Carla has very kindly said that I can stay overnight at her house because she lives much closer to London and the race is at 9am."
"But you don't know Carla."
"Well, no... but I do really because I've been reading her blogs for a year now and she seems lovely! And anyway, I met Louise for the Parkrun up here and I only knew her through her blogs before that too, and she was lovely, so it'll all be good!" I babbled. Mik, just stared at me.
"So, let me get this right... you're going to stay with someone you don't actually physically know, but you've met 'on the internet'?"
"Yes."
"Well don't come crying to me when you come back dead... have you seen Wolf Creek?!"
Actually, I hadn't seen Wolf Creek - and still haven't, although apparently it's enough to put you off travelling Australia on your own! - so, brushing Mik's misgivings' well and truly under the carpet (or laminate to be precise), I jumped into my little blue Micra and sped off down south.

One wee, a cup of tea and a Starbucks' Granola bar later, and I arrived at the lovely Carla's where I can confirm I was (obviously) not murdered, hacked into tiny pieces and buried under the floorboards of the patio - a la '90's Brookside - but quite conversely was treated to a delicious meal of speed enhancing spaghetti bolognese with a side of garlic bread, followed by - not any key lime pie but - a Marks & Spencer's key lime pie... Mmmmmmmm... Great conversation, a little red wine and a good night's sleep meant I was more than ready for the challenge that lay ahead of me the next day: The Mornington Chaser's Regent's Park 10k.

Chapter 2:

We woke up bright and early... well, alright then, it was early, but I certainly wasn't bright! and set off for London Town. A few yawn's later and we arrived at Regent's Park, immediately meeting up with Louise and Rachel, who seemed to be coping far better than me with the early morning start! Within seconds Katie, who had braved the train from Oxford that morning, had identified us as the people she was looking for and, before we knew it, Alma had joined us and we were a complete brave band of 6 early morning Janathoners stood on the start line of our 3 lap pursuit.

photo courtesy of Fortnightflo

The gun - well, horn sounding thing - sounded, and we were off...

Lap 1 - I'm feeling good: The wind is in my hair. I'm running well. It's a good, flat course.
Lap 2 - I've questions: Did I start too fast? Can I make it round? Where did that hill come from?
Lap 3 - I've answers: Yes. Don't even think about that now. It's even bigger now!

Thankfully, just at the 9km point where I thought I might just possibly collapse - or at least slow to a pace slower than a snail's - I heard Louise's words of encouragement calling from behind me: 'Go Maggie! You're doing great!'. Those were the magic words I needed. I lifted my head, dug deep and found the finish line at 58:48.

Chapter 3:

Of course, once everyone had finished the race, there was only one thing left to do: breakfast. Oh, and what a good breakfast it was... toast, poached eggs and bacon with a dollop of brown sauce... heaven! It was also the perfect opportunity to have a good old natter about all things running with the girls, all of whom are as wonderfully warm and welcoming in real life as they are in their blogs; and if you haven't had a read them yet, then make sure you do... go on... what are you waiting for? Oh, of course... the end.

Well, there's not much more to say really, except that, all in all, I've had an absolutely fantastic weekend and will definitely look for more opportunities to meet up and run with everyone again. Of course, I have to give a massive thanks to Carla for not just putting up with me, but for making me feel like a real VIP. 

My next race will be the Blackpool half marathon in February (part of my 'run every race in the club championships' challenge); and if anyone fancies joining me in a race ooop north sometime, then give me a shout!  Now, what are you waiting for?... skip back to the top of the page and read some brilliant blogs by some lovely ladies!


11 comments:

  1. Glad to hear you've got back oop north safely, with plenty of granola and no murders. Lovely to meet you. Well done on the run!

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  2. Sounds brilliant!! so lovely that some janthoners can get together. I'm properly up north (i.e. in Scotland!)

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  3. Sounds like you all had a fantastic time and indeed, ran impressive times! Well done all of you!

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  4. It was brilliant and we had a great time... can't wait to do it again! :-)

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  5. Well done all of you, good -athoning!

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  6. Lovely to meet you! Well done - good runs all round.
    You're very welcome to the running shoes - good for them to have a good home and amazing I remembered to bring them!

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  7. Lol! I had the same conversation with Andy when I said I was staying with Flo before a parkrun. Good seeing you again.

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  8. Great write up of the last 24 hours!! I'm a bit worried that your partners (you and louise) think I have axe murderer potential...is it the name (flo is a bit midsomers) or the fact that I am a mad cat lady?? Anyway, lovely to meet you and now we've met I shall definately be taking advantage of your spare bed to do a race in Manchester - I like the sound of the Wilmslow half!

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  9. Sounds like fun! If you are ever in Malaysia ;)...

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  10. Flo- Wilmslow half is a must!!! And possibly the cats???! :-)

    Emily - I would very much like to be in Malaysia!!! :-)

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Thanks for reading... feel free to leave me a message. Maggiee x

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