At these events, we (i.e myself and a bazillion gazillion other lady folk) make a point of politely but firmly informing cancer that we're coming to get it. I can't imagine anything more terrifying than a few thousand women in tutus, jacked up on endorphins and mass hysteria running, walking, lunging, skipping, dancing and giggling towards you.
If I saw it coming over the horizon, I'd get a shuffle on too.
Besides the gob-slackening amount of funds raised for Cancer Research UK each year by these races, there are lots of reasons why Race For Life gives me the warm and fuzzies. To name a few:
1. WIMMIN!! - women, in case you hadn't noticed, are bloody good fun! And when we get together en masse, especially at events like these, the atmosphere is completely giddy. The excitement is catching. Dunno, maybe we're all buzzing our tits off on all the estrogen in the air or something.
2. Race? What race? - I don't know if others find this, but Race For Life is , I feel, one of the most pressure less, uncompetitive organised races I've ever attended. I'm always planted firmly in the "jogging" section at the start line (as opposed to walking or running), so I'm assuming things probably do get a little more heated up front.
But at these races, I can forget to compare myself to others in terms of speed and endurance and all that other serious, over-thought crap and I'm reminded just how silly, and therefore how much fun throwing on some shorts and bouncing around outdoors is.
3. Free crap! - medals! Shiny, shiny medals!!
Tonight, I went to Swansea's Twilight Race For Life...which is pretty much the same as the daytime race...but...at...night...
I know. Blew my mind too.
Just as many head boppers and neon pink leg warmers, but more glow sticks and and an increased risk of running into lamp posts. I learned about the latter when I had to play guide dog/drill sargeant to my blind-without-her-glasses teen sister ("lamp post!... Puddle!... Lamp post!") this evening.
But, yeah, was good! Definitely an experience.
Tonight, we had some freak (except not that freaky because it is Wales) torrential rain and early bitter winds to see us on our way. Those of us who hadn't already frozen to death on the way in stood waiting in a field like a cluster of pink penguins to be taken through our "warm" up routine by a worrisomely enthusiastic lady who looked like she might have been off her meds.
I threw some Britishly noncommittal finger points out there and did some shuffles on the spot while my almost blind sibling crashed into me over and over. Not the most elegant spectacle.
Before I had any more time to beat myself up about having decided that flappy shorts were a marvellous decision, we were off around the marina.
And it was even more fun than I've ever had during the daytime races! Squinting through sideways rain and splashing through puddles made the whole experience even dafter and more euphoric than ever. We warmed up, chatted and laughed all the way around and there was a sense that what we three thousand or so were doing on a rainy Saturday night was totally ridiculous and more than a bit funny. It flew by.
If you've been thinking about taking up running and want somewhere to start from, or if you run a lot already but have never given Race For Life a go, then...just... Go to one! There are events all over the UK, so you really don't have a decent excuse to be missing out on all the fun!
...no. This isn't duck face. We grimaced against the cold and the wind changed. I still look like this now.