Are you mad?
The Shabbas had a main team of 8 runners, plus another team called Team Token Crazy, that had begun as a mixed team but over time, due to injuries and other commitments, was left with a core of Shabbas running. Plus on Team Cake, we had Laura Steward aka The Lozzatron, and not forgetting the incredible cheerleader AnneMarie Nicholls.
Team Token Crazy:
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- Paul Ross about his impression of camping,
- Ross Taylor is he asleep yet
- Who's Alan? Steve?
- Annmarie whether there was a full moon and what was so funny
- Lady P what the anti-bac wipes were for
It's Saturday, so it's parkrun day.
At this Phil changed his mind and decided to run it - jeans and all.
And yes, he was first Shabba home, which amused the Colwick volunteers so much, he made their run report, albeit with a case of mistaken identity. And some chafing from his jeans.
In he came - with the words to Baz - "watch that 2nd hill!"
Baz came back - words to Chris "walk that 2nd hill!"
Chris came back - words to Ian "be careful on the 2nd hill!"
Can you see a pattern emerging? We all made the decision to walk that EFFIN' HILL! We all had multiple laps to run, and other big races coming up over the next few weeks, so although we wanted to have a great time at Equinox and give it our best shot, it was also about ensuring we got round safely.
We realised after a while, that we were nearly 2 hours ahead of our plan, with our faster boys going easy at around 42-45 minutes per lap, and even the less experienced runners coming home quicker than expected.
But then as Paul was preparing to go out for his 2nd lap, we realised it was going to get dark while he was out there and figured the times would begin to slow.
This didn't happen, yes we all slowed a bit, but not by the 10 - 15 mins per lap we were expecting. So the plan got tweaked. Baz offered to run a double lap over night, this might be because he's a brilliant runner who wanted to do his bit for the team, or because he was feeling guilty at making Paul wait 5 minutes in transition after mis-timing their handover!
The night laps were something special. Running through the woods by the light of a small head torch, following a small bobbing light ahead of you, running from glow stick to glow stick, calling out encouragement to runners around you, especially the cheer of 'Go Solo!'. The stars above were something to be seen to be believed.
The Solo Runners
From Camp Shabba we enjoyed cheering them on.
There was Sid - who completed all his laps dressed in a morph suit, to raise money for Children's Cancer. You're still in first place Sid!
There was kilt man, who gave us an honest answer to what was under his kilt! Who I found out later was the incredible MarathonMan_UK, running 367 consecutive marathons for the NSPCC.
There were the walkers with their Nordic Walking poles, there was the cavewoman and nun, and far too many more to mentions.
But solo runners - we salute you!!
After an early start to a busy day our plans for Saturday we were finished earlier than expected so we cracked a can open and ordered a takeaway. Then Byron cancelled the takeaway and said "we're going to equinox!"
I couldn't get my head round the fact we were in the middle of a field with lights bobbing around us, people were hungover, tired, cold and looking a bit zombified the course was tough and it wasn't for charity!
Until the next morning everyone becoming alive and seeing it finish it then made more sense. I needed to see it from the start. I only managed 24 hours and needed sleep, Byron managed 36 hours, 3 laps, the drive home and made the dinner! He's amazing!
Another shout out her to Annmarie. At some point during the evening, she had changed into a cow onesie, and as the field was covered in cow and sheep 'deposits' she came in for some stick around making a mess of the field! But she was up when we were up, she drove Baz to the showers, the transition point, she cheered us all home - awesome, awesome woman!
Paul managed to take some mobile phone footage of us doing the last 400m, while running backwards!
It was cold. It was damp. It was exhausting. It was tough. But above all, it was about spirit. And the Shabba spirit in our little family was strengthened by what we experienced. The one thing lacking, was that not everyone could make it. Next year the Shabbas will be there in bigger numbers! (and camper vans!)
One last thing to say...
We ran that 24 hours and we ran it with a smile.
Also thank you to Curley Photography for the official race pics.