Running with 500 people – Remembrance Day 2018

I might have said that I’m scared of racing, that I feel uncomfortable in crowds, and that I’m not competitive. And I might have said that 2018 has been a hideously tough year that’s brought me to my knees.

Yeah, well, they’re all first world problems. But a hundred years ago saw the end of one of the most awful wars in history, so today I joined 500 people to run 7.4 km over squidgy grit and sand, and through the sea, as part of the MBH Remembrance Day Run. We wore red clothes and poppies, as a mark of respect for those who died in WW1. It’s not a glorification of war; it’s the opposite. A sadness at so much loss, a celebration that the war ended, and remembering that it happened.

After two minutes’ silence, we ran what was one of the physically hardest runs I’ve ever done (including much longer runs in the Welsh mountains as a youngster). It was a gorgeous day, but the first 3.8km were straight into a headwind. Also, running in soft, ankle-deep wet sand, or through the sea shallows, is an exercise in doing four and a half miles of knee-lifts with weighted feet: by the time we crossed the last river, wading shin-deep over shifting, uneven ground, my legs had all the strength of cooked spaghetti.

Everyone ran themselves ragged, cheering each other on, propping each other up, and laughing about it afterwards. I didn’t hear anyone say it was easy but it was good – I absolutely loved it and would happily do it again. (Running till your legs give way beneath you teaches you a lot about your legs!)

And how lucky we are to have the freedom to choose.

Thanks to MBH for a great event.

Images by @helendobson15 & @sarah_t_photo

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