So assembled before Andy and I were the great and the good of the local running fraternity charged by the gods to seek the medallion of immortality and the fleece of black gold. Before us stood the mighty Runners of BHAM with their purple armour gleaming in the sun alongside the famed Harriers of Wells City ready to prove there might in a test laid in front of us by the gods of speed and stupidity.
We lined up with our fellow champions below the wisteria strewn gothic arch , dreading the challenge ahead but sure in the knowledge that we would gain immortality for another year should we reach the end. All around us hushed (and frankly annoyingly loud) voices could be heard whilst the course was explained and someone’s birthday was announced, although no one heard it!
Silence then fell as the 10 second count began…..5..4…3..2..1 BLAAARRT! The horns announced the start and off we raced to meet our fate. Out of the courtyard we streamed to cheers and applause, our colours blurring into one as we raced towards the mythical Spread Eagle (had ham egg and chips in there after. What? I deserved it.) Andy pushed me ahead, leaving many others in his wake as I propped up the middle of the pack. We streamed down the very welcome downhill stretch, if only I’d realised that we would be coming back up it I would have saved some energy!
Next we passed through Gasper, were the chickens were angry and the sheep was missing its Golden Fleece. The first mile passed quickly and fooled us into a false sense of security as at mile 2 a LONG, winding hill stole the strength from our legs. On came mile 3 and 4 where the course undulated through the woods. We struggled through avoiding the nymphs and the cries of the harpies knowing that glory was in our sights. At mile 5 we soared past the Temple of the Mighty Apollo and fought to get to the end, whilst the cries of the sirens of the lake were tempting us to follow them below the murky surface to our doom. But! We were strong and fought through creatures and struggled up the hill to the finish.
The crowds were there to great us we soared through the finish line we did, safe in the knowledge that we were had achieved immortality.