This post should be subtitled “Portaloo Anxiety”, if only to warn you that what follows will be somewhat focussed on bodily functions. However thats giving the game away before I’ve even started, so lets crack on.
Todays race involved me gate crashing the elite Surrey Housewives Set (SHS) for a trog around the muddy woods of Hawley Lake.
At some ridiculous hour in the morning, visibility was down to 10 yards or so, a little worrying for a back of the packer who has a tendency to lose sight of the back of the pack very quickly. Still, I had chance to build up the anxiety a little as I needed to pay a visit to the little ladies room.
When I first turned up the portaloos were empty but I thought I’d put it off as long as possible. Not sure what I was waiting for, did I really expect someone to pass by and spruce the cabin up, deodorising and leaving a selection of Moulton Brown toiletries? Nope, as any seasoned event attender knows all too well, these places only get worse the longer you leave them – much worse. I blame SHS member no 3 (names withheld to protect the innocent) who horrified me when she returned from her foray into the cabin, completely smeared in some strange slime.
In the end I decided to start the race with a full bladder, hoping that my body would just learn to reabsorb. I also thought it might make me run a bit faster, it always seems to work when I’m on my bike. I break all my records cycling home from the pub as the quicker I go the sooner I get to use the loo. For the record, it doesn’t translate so well for running, especially not hilly, uneven, cross country running – the first downhill section reminded me of the importance of pelvic floor exercises!
I do apologise for the banality of this post but I did warn you, I was preoccupied. My playlist selection for this event was last sundays omnibus edition of the Archers. Perfectly timed to last my predicted 1:13:00 time and the ideal accompaniment to keep my mind off more pressing matters. Well it would have been if I hadn’t somehow managed to load up an edition that I had already listened to. I like the Archers but I cannot listen to Eddy snogging his girlfriend for a second time in a week and they had the cows mooing so loud in the recording that I kept having to make sure I wasn’t about to be attacked from the undergrowth.
So I was left with my thoughts which oscillated between, “I need the loo”, “That’s a pretty mushroom, do you think I could just stop and pick it?”, “Christ I’m gonna wet myself!”, “Check out that flippin puddle – am I supposed to swim?”, “How come I’m always behind the walkers?” and “ooooh I NEED the loo!”.
You get the picture. It was lovely though. The marshalls were very pleasant and I got a great cheer from the SHS crew as I reached my final sprint for the portaloo.
Special mention goes to Suzan (SHS member no 1) who stormed home, breaking the 60 min barrier with 1 1/2 mins to spare! I think members 2 and 3 are still trying to fathom out their precise time (give or take 5 mins) as they were relying on a rather interesting timepiece, one lacking a second hand and minute markers.
Race t-shirt here.