5th May 2018
- Jude Webb
- Thames Path run
I’m running Thames Path 100 miles to do something extraordinary, and show my respect to all the people who did something extraordinary during the First World War 1914-1918, one hundred years ago. We will remember them.
So the story of my challenge………..
Friday May 4th – arrived in Richmond On Thames, visited the War Memorial there and also found The Poppy Factory:
The Poppy Factory is the country’s leading employment charity for veterans with health conditions or impairments.
Sat 5th May – placed a little wooden Poppy cross on the War Memorial before the start of the event…..I did this Thames Path 100 mile last year, trained extremely hard for it and completed it. This year’s edition was going to be a different kettle of fish. My motivation for running has been lacking during the year, running is my sport, I love it most of the time! -training for and doing 100 miles was all new to me last year, but I’m indifferent to it this year. Enthusiasm zilch!
Set off on the event! Very hot day, forecast for the bank holiday weekend – scorchio!
All chugged along during the day, slowly, looked after myself-drank ok, forced food down! smiled and thanked people along the way. The night came and, in the coolness, I actually speeded up a bit! Arrived at the halfway mark, Henley 51 miles, got to the next checkpoint at Reading, 58 miles.
The staff told me I’d either have to pair up with someone or pack in, because further along the path a runner had experienced a mugging by some youths. Not wanting to pack in, I paired up with a fella who had been behind me, and we carried along the way. Then I got a call from the organisers, on my mobile, to say myself, and the fella I was with, needed to return to the checkpoint at Reading immediately as there had been another mugging behind us. We returned. The organisers told us they would shunt us further forward on the trail past the ‘mugging zone’ as we had done the extra mileage returning to the checkpoint anyway.
We sat in the organiser’s car for half an hour, negotiating the one way systems and roundabouts of Reading! I was falling asleep as the car heater was on!
We got out at the designated place to restart and had both seized up from sitting in the car! We set off, easing back into moving our legs from our enforced sit-down, taking about half an hour to get going again properly! We got to Whitchurch, 67 miles.
Then we arrived at the checkpoint at Streatley, 71 miles. We were told we had to stop the event as we had exceeded the cut off time allowed. End of event…71 miles done!
In life, whether you like it or not, you have to take the rough with the smooth and accept what happens. Although I didn’t complete the distance I’d set out to do, I dealt with the unexpected along the way and met some nice folks, did everything with a smile believing that what will be, will be. The people who endured WW1 would have had to have the same stoicism and I admire and respect them for it. Whatever they experienced they took it on the chin.
So the distance not completed, but the target of money I wanted to raise reached, and more life lessons learned from doing this. Anybody who tries, whether they succeed or fail, has my full admiration and respect.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
I wish the rest of my fellow ‘We Remember Them’ Challengers all the best in their events, but most of all, to stay safe and well.
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