Thomas Bannister, @tommywellies was our pocket rocket….
“Tired, lethargic and aching legs… I hadnt even warmed up yet! A gruelling week in the nursery, a 6 mile run on Wednesday and 1am bedtime on Friday night had not been the best preparation for what was to be my longest run ever! My alarm went off at 5am, after what felt like 10 minutes sleep and l’m not going to lie, I didn’t think I was going to make it…
One thing got me there was a Greek gardener to whom I had promised i would run! I hadnt made the last run and there was no way I was going to let that happen again.
l was at the gate for 9 o’clock, legs jangling and raring to go! Think I might have been a bit early. However, Andrew and his lovely family were ahead of the game. He was tucking into salmon and scrambled eggs in the nearby pub, in a last ditch attempt to gain some valuable fuel for the inevitable journey we were about to embark on. I could only manage a latte.
The rest of the gang arrived and the camaraderie was instant. What a splendid bunch. l WAS READY!
The start line beckoned and two insanely energetic girls and a mad ‘William Wallace’ type character were there to help get the heart pumping! They were semi-successful, but it was going to take more than that to wake me up! Off we went and it must have been a whole 50 yards before we met our first stream. That should do it! My hopes of staying dry were dashed within minutes! Now I was awake and it suddenly dawned on me that we could be in for a long day!
As we waded through river after river, the icy water soothing my already aching legs, I had the pleasure of getting to know my fellow Grubby’s though! We swapped work tales and generally talked job, as we navigated our way around the treacherous drainage channels/smelly swamps. There was no signs of any of us being remotely phased by this rather smelly, freezing, muddy clay water. Naturally, we went on trudging through the mud! We are gardeners, it’s what we do!
The obstacles eventually turned up, but by this point, new-found bonds were solid and with each others help, we could conquer anything, and we did! I had cramp that was in both thighs, front and back, both at the same time along with a lovely cramp in my back, shoulders and buttocks. But, it was never going to stop me!
We all finished together. A team. A cold, wet, aching muddy team, but we did it! We smashed the Dirty Dozen. We sent it packing! It felt great to achieve the 12km, and it felt great to be there on behalf of the amazing Perennial charity. What a top group of guys and girls the Grubby’s were! There was nothing for me to worry about whatsoever!
Bring on the next challenge. Dirty 24km anyone??”