We are gathering outside the stable block and I’m feeling a little nervous. There seem to be a huge number of dogs around and I’ve discovered recently that my rhino costume tends to make them nervous. When dogs get nervous they tend to get a bit more barky and bitey than usual and I’m not keen on engaging too closely with anything that wants to bite me. I find that these dogs are nervous but they are calm, cool and sophisticated dogs. They keep a wary eye upon me lest I go bezerk and start goring people with my horn but for now they reckon they’ll let me live.
We had our prerun briefing and my wife Carrie is invited to say a few words to let everyone know about Save The Rhino and my fundraising page, http://virginmoneygiving.com/jimmowatt .
We are released onto the course and begin to stomp our way through the fields. The cows and sheep are uninterested in our progress. The marshalls make up for the disinterest by redoubling their shouts of encouragement.
We reach the far side of the field and turn right. The wind blasts across and I find myself running sideways. Richard who is my rhino guide looks at me curiously as I begin to drift away. I fight my way back to the track and eventually reach what looks to me like a vertical cliff face. It’s actually just a hill but with fighting the wind I’m really feeling it. I have to slow to a walk as I climb to the top and thankfully there’s a little downhill on the other side. I relax a little but then when I get to the bottom the wind has returned and there are giant lakes of mud impeding my path. It was a tough run. Massive amounts of heat built up in my suit as I continually fought the wind and tried to run in a straight line and then Richard has to pull me out of the mud. Eventually we passed the 4km mark and turned toward the bridge. Just a few yards in front of us a chap slipped and fell heavily. His feet went into the air as if he was some silent movie comedian doing a number on a banana skin. He wasn’t down for long though. He clambered back to his feet, shook himself like a dog that’s just climbed out a a lake and carried on. Maybe there was a PB at stake. I trod carefully upon the bridge. Runners before me had trampled huge amounts of mud onto the bridge and then compressed it until it had become a solid mass of super slidey death mud. Needless to say I stepped gingerly over the bridge of slips.
I turned in front of the glorious Wimpole Hall and then back to the start/finish line to cheering rhino fans. I was absolutely exhausted and definitely couldn’t claim myself a rhino PB this time.
If anyone gets the urge to donate to Save The Rhino then please visit the page http://virginmoneygiving.com/jimmowatt and donate whatever you feel you can afford.