Racing with the Surrey Housewives – Loseley 10k

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.

Loseley Park 2007

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.

Loseley Park 10k

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.

21 thoughts on “Racing with the Surrey Housewives – Loseley 10k

  1. No Wetsuit Girl

    “a little worrying for a back of the packer who has a tendency to lose sight of the back of the pack very quickly” Your domination of the English language never fails to make me laugh!

    I know what you mean about the re-absorbing thing, too. I’ve gotten better at it, but this morning I was starting to talk myself into believing that ‘there’s no reason to be ashamed of my naked butt, and that everybody pees, so it would be perfectly fine if I just found a nice tree and…’ I’m glad that you got it all worked out and didn’t have any stories to tell us about what was actually INSIDE the booth.

  2. celeste

    Classic post, as I have come to expect! So what was your final time? Did the loo strategy work? Did you beat 1.13??

  3. Suzan - SHS1

    Totally agree – two really well writen posts. So glad you found time in amoungst all that revision you were planning to do when you returned….
    Official results from Loseley have you storming home in a planned and predicted 1:13:31. Excellent work. Plus they were great mars bar crispies from the tuck shop at the finish. Convientently located next to your longed for portaloo!

    Really enjoyed it and lets plan another outing for the New Year – us SHS don’t like to rush things!

  4. Suzan - SHS1

    If i post another comment again really quickly then I am exactly 12 hours after Celeste was reading and posting! Cool!

  5. Kathy

    I read an ‘avoid the loo’ strategy in a running book and I swear by it. Stop drinking a couple of hours before the event. Only take sips of water during the event.

    All I need now is a ‘how to avoid the nervous and completely unnecessary yet essential trip to the loo before the start’ strategy. Anyone got one of those?

    Loved your post, as ever.

  6. Betsy

    Oh, I feel your pain. I always try to void my bladder before a run, but in a few cases it wasn’t enough. That’s the MOST uncomfortable feeling! (Okay, so there’s another MORE uncomfortable feeling — which I experienced during my midnight run in Fairbanks — but we don’t need to go there. But then again, I guess I did. I better stop now).

  7. Roads

    Thanks very much for this report. I saw the event advertised, but was dragged elsewhere so unfortunately couldn’t make it.

    I know these tracks and trails very well. I try to vary my terrain on my long runs, and this area formed part of my regular training route for a marathon a year or so ago. The countryside and scenery are great, and you ran a really excellent time considering the hills and your crossed legs.

    With a Half Marathon under your belt now, you can easily churn out a 10k whenever you feel like it. That’s the power of running longer. And that’s real progress – well done !

  8. warriorwoman Post author

    Hollywood – I don’t think you qualify, tragic but you’ll have to find another running club.

    Hi Roads – that would have been strange to have read your race report as well. I imagine you would have followed a slightly different tone to me. Great area though, must be hundreds of different routes in there to choose from. It’s really close to those Broadmoor routes I so enjoyed – excellent running country.

  9. H


    (it sounded pants anyway not my cup – sounds like it is only for bra wearers – so I won’t get my knickers in a twist)

  10. Veronica

    Please help me – does anyone know what the Loseley Course is like???? I am running 10k there in October. It is my first 10k, I am so not ready for it and I hear the hills are pretty awful?????!!!!! Any advice?

  11. warriorwoman Post author

    Don’t worry about it – you’ll love it!
    The course is ok, it’s a bit bumpy and a bit muddy but that all adds to the enjoyment I think and also takes the pressure off as it provides the perfect excuse for taking it steady.

    I was very slow last year but there were still people behind me, plenty adopted the run/walk approach and it is perfectly fine.

    The volunteers were very jolly as well.

    Just go and have fun and let us know how it went.

  12. Veronica

    Thank you thank you – I feel much relieved. I was actually thinking of not doing it, but you’ve put my mind at rest… even if I run/walk, I’ll get around somehow!

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  17. bogman

    I always thought I had what would probably be described as an unhealthy obsession with toilets but I think I have met my match! 🙂

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