Day two: Leeds to Barnsley
Turns out day two was the first time any of the four of us had done back-to-back marathons so that’s a milestone of sorts reached already. Mind you, I’m writing this at 6am on the morning of day three and everything hurts. As in, EVERYTHING. Judging by the amount of times crewie Mike called me ‘pilgrim’ last night, my style of perambulation bears more than a passing resemblance to John Wayne. Well, Mike, it’s only going to get worse.
If day one was freezing, yesterday was insanely so. In fact it was MINUS 5! So cold that if you stopped for 20 seconds to consult your map (incidentally, Google Maps, please get your house in order. ‘Left’ and ‘right’ are not words to be bandied about with impunity), your extremities swiftly became so cold you thought frostbite was imminent and you entered a sort of chicken and egg situation whereby in order to warm up again you needed to get back running asap, but because you were SO cold running was actually quite difficult to do.
There was a tender scene at mile 15 where physio Rich pointed out my eyelashes had frosted over, and he spent a minute or so snapping tiny crystals of ice from them while I stood by the size of the A61 steaming like a racehorse. And the FOG! Oh my word, the fog. At times, up in the rolling Yorkshire hills, you couldn’t see 100 feet ahead of you. Since we were all strung out along the road it was a good job we were wearing our bright orange gilets with flashing LEDs so we could see each other vaguely up ahead.
Although Wakefield at halfway was the coldest part of the course, it was probably also the most heartwarming since it was there that we got thumbs up, shouts of encouragement, good natured questions about the nature of our sanity, and several Christmas shoppers throwing cash in our direction as we passed by. Not quite so charitable was the fish and chip shop owner in Barnsley at mile 25.75 (you know who you are), who scuppered my plans to arrive at the finish line with a bag of team chips. A portion was £1.20 and I only had £1, a sweaty charity bib, and an exhausted look on me. Not enough apparently. Thanks also to the traffic warden who, when I was lost 0.25 miles from the end, sent me half an hour out of my way off towards the M1 out of town. I knew there was a reason I don’t like those buggers.
All in all, a tough day, and anyone who has run an endurance race will know the feelings: one of those ones where your emotions are up and down and it is a constant battle to keep your legs moving and your mind focused on the prize. But nothing worth doing is ever easy and all that.
Day three tomorrow: Barnsley to Chesterfield.
Our day in three words:
Matt - 'Found my nuts.'
Kerry - 'Sob-inducing quads.'
Sarah - 'Hills fog hills.'
Meredith - 'Freezing but better.'
Alison McPherson - ‘Oh. My. Gosh.’
Mike - ‘Snowing in Wakefield.’
Janis - ‘By Gum Foggy.’
Rich - ‘Everyone still running.'
Megan - ‘Frosted eyelashes.’
Thanks to our sponsors: ASICS, Saucony, Eat Natural, Iceni Water, Nectar, Nike, Holiday Inn, Fit4Sport and Vitality Whey.