The buzz of the finish line is well and truly the best buzz of them all but our journey to that line can have all sorts of strange and weird things happen along the way, from hearing the starting gun whilst sat on the port aloo to sprinting over the finishing line missing a shoe, these types of things do happen to us runners! Here are 4 mini stories that have actually happened to me over the past 4 years....
I remember one of my first half marathons where I was running side by side with a female runner. I remember her name was Jess. Every corner and turn someone in the crowd would shout 'Go on Jess!!' and give her some encouragement. After about 20 mins of constant shout outs I turned and said to her between breaths
“Wow.... you have lots of friends in the crowd!'
She replied “Not really.... But I do have my name on my vest!”
“Oh right!... I didn't realise that lol”.
It gave me a little chuckle to myself and from that moment on I realised some runners like to have their name on their vest to encourage the supporters. Felling a little silly I upped my pace and finished the race!
Another time I remember fighting hard for a place in the latter stages of a race. It was a hot day and I was running to my maximum. I was about 20 meters behind the chap in front of me and I just couldn't catch him for all my efforts. The next thing I know the chap I was chasing had jumped into a bush and dropped his pants around his ankles to relieve his bowels! I couldn't believe my eyes! I had been gifted a top 10 place in the race by some poor chap’s obvious stomach issues. Although I was happy to finish inside the top 10, I did feel very sorry for the runner with stomach issues so deep into the race. It was the last mile of a half marathon! He finished in 11th behind me and I saw him on the finish line.
Needless to say, I didn't shake his hand in this instance due to an obvious lack of toilet paper!
As runners, we tend to run at all times of day or night and in some quite secluded areas. I remember running down a dark secluded woodland road on one occasion and interrupting some young love birds having a little snog and cuddle in their car. They looked quite surprised and embarrassed to see me as I ran by chuckling to myself! I don't think they expected to see anyone on such a quiet stretch of road!
This other time during a race I approached what I believed to be a water station. It was quite a hot day and I had already run around 15 miles. Feeling rather sweaty from my efforts I thought a good splash of water all over my face would cool me down and refresh me. I grabbed what I thought was a nice cup of water and threw it all over my face. What I hadn't noticed was this water station was in fact an energy drinks station! The remaining miles of the race were run with an extremely sticky face! I made sure I never made that mistake again!
Happy and healthy running!