The morning of Sunday 28th November was all going swimmingly until I realised – halfway down the motorway and 20 minutes from home – that I’d forgotten my trail shoes. Not only that, but I wasn’t even wearing my normal running shoes. Nope. I had on my gym shoes, ready for the drive home where I knew I’d want something clean and dry to put my feet in.
Now fortunately they were trainers, but I’ve probably done roughly 2 miles on a treadmill at the furthest in them. Needless to say, it didn’t get me off to a good start.
I pulled into Wythenshawe Park a little apprehensive of what was to come. The place itself was actually really easy to find and parking was just as simple. The autumn colours were in full swing here, with plenty of golden trees and leaves dotted everywhere. I managed to find my way to the starting line (following those wearing bright kit of course) and just waited around.
Once the kids had arrived back at the finish line of their mini race, we were off on our 2 lap run of the park. I tried not to go too fast but it’s all too easy to try and keep up with everyone rushing off.
We were very quickly into the woods and trail paths, the mud appearing quickly. I don’t know if you can remember a couple of weeks back, but the rain was absolutely awful. That obviously leads to very wet and boggy parks, with plenty of muddy puddles.
Yeah my gym shoes were not prepared for that.
I don’t mind getting muddy at all. It’s the wet feet that I hate. I, amongst others, tried to avoid the big puddles of water for as long as possible. It was sort of working…
Wet, Wet, Wet
Around three-quarters of the way round of our first lap we hit the first football field. This one wasn’t too bad until the second lap when the wind and rain appeared. Felt like I was being battered!
The second football field however… well, it was pretty much a pool. We were running through ankle deep water for a good 30 metres or so at a guess. My feet were absolutely sodden.
And cold. So cold.
But onwards I ran. After this first lap and already getting very wet feet, I ran the second lap without even thinking of the puddles. And by that I mean I just ran through them – I was of course still thinking about my very wet feet. Would my feet be less wet if I’d had my trail shoes? Probably not, but they wouldn’t have felt like buckets on my feet I’m sure!
Getting To The Finish
The last kilometre or so was mostly solid ground, so there was at least that to celebrate. I had earlier finishers cheer me on alongside spectators, and I was so relieved to just get over the line and out of the rain.
I don’t think I’ve ever finished a race feeling so cold, wet and just slightly miserable. Why on earth did I think it was a good idea to wear shorts? Thankfully I’d packed my joggers to change into – that was a blessing.
The ride home wasn’t too fun either. My legs were stiff from the 5 miles and the cold, and I had my bare feet (because the soaking wet socks had to go!) in my wet trainers and the heater on full blast trying to at least warm them a little.
So the Christmas Pudding Dash was certainly not my favourite of the year, but I guess it was at least memorable. That’s an unlucky 13 eh?