Rocky Horror Picture Show Marathon
I would like, if I may, to take you on a strange journey.
Having been dumped by my usual partner in crime, James Pearson, I was happy to be travelling down with fellow Harrier Guy Gibson and Unattached Hull Runner Stephen Baker.
James had been invited to be a God Father and therefore had to attend Church on a Sunday, which is just madness. Luckily he found a marathon on the Saturday to keep his addiction fed and managed a respectable 3.38 at the Thames Meander. I’m happy to report that it looks like he is well on the way to recovery.
The path to Shropshire is a well travelled route for James and I, with most of the CODRC events being held here. The majority are held at Lightmoor and Coldport, however this event was at the Cycle Track in Shrewsbury and was the second time I had attended an event here.
Guy had his satnav, however it takes you down the M6 toll road, which although saves approximately 5 minutes, costs £5 to use. I therefore did my best to navigate this section for Guy, with moderate success, fortunately despite my sense of direction we managed to get to and from the venue with only a couple of hairy moments.
Arriving at the Sports Centre, we saw a number of other runners, many dressed as the cast from the film. We had at least one Rocky, Brad, Janet, Frank-N-Furter, Riff Raff, Magenta and Columbia. A few locals called over asking if some of the runners were on a “walk of shame”, they answered that they had just arrived for a run. Must be a spiders nightclub in Shrewsbury.
On entering the sports hall, we bumped into Rich Rex from City of Hull. As most of you are probably aware, he’s a fellow marathon nutter. It’s great having a large Hull contingent at these far flung events.
We went to collect our numbers from the race HQ and I was a bit worried to hear them playing the theme tune to Rocky Horror. Don’t get me wrong, I like most music and am quite fond of the film, however I don’t think I could have faced listening to it on loop for the full event. Fortunately it was only on prior to the race. I was handed number 69, which made me giggle somewhat given the race theme. Well how about that.
After a quick stretch and change we had the race brief and I began to shiver with antici…pation. Rich, Guy and myself set off at a similar pace, being a 1km cycle track, I was happy for the company and we chatted for the first couple of laps, before the call of nature dragged Guy from us.
A few laps in the race leader, Adam Holland, flew past. The guy’s nice to talk to, but is a machine. He holds a number of the 100 Marathon Club records, including fastest male (2hrs 28mins 29 secs) and Youngest to 100 marathons 23yrs and 274 days. He makes it looks effortless, gliding around the course.
I continued with Rich for about 9 or 10 miles, bullying him off the racing line. It was good passing the time and the miles seemed to drift away effortlessly. A few times he said I could leave him, being too polite to say I was boring him. When our watches showed about half a mile difference, him travelling furthest, must have made up his mind and we ended up splitting I took a jump to the left and then a step to the right, but it must have been the pelvic thrust that really drove him insane.
There were several strange sights and I am sure if this wasn’t an organised event some of the participants would have been arrested for indecency and exposure. I think the funniest comment of the day came from Guy. Addressing a 6 foot plus chap, dressed as Frank-N-Furter, with stockings, suspenders, wig and pearl necklace he said “You look like Brian May from the back and Anita Dobson from the front”.
I had been tempted to wear my headphones and it would have certainly helped break up the mid race boredom. There were a few tunes, mainly early 90’s cheesy dance and rave tracks, which you could hear as you passed the start and finish area. The most apt I felt was Dizzy by Vic Reeves and the Wonderstuff. After just over 42 laps, we certainly were.
To help alleviate the boredom I tried waving, giving the thumbs up and chatting to most of the other runners. There was good camaraderie and people tried keeping each others spirits high. It was good to see a number of the regular running nutters, including some of the Mersey Marathon Mafia, John Hammond and Adam Tyson, also Southern Runners Terri and Steve Greenhalgh and Katie Thomas, to name just a few.
The weather was quiet kind, with a slight breeze and overcast all race. It did feel a bit muggy near the end, but that must just have been the effects of running the distance taking it’s toll.
Adam finished the race in 1st place with a time of 2.36.22. All the Hull lads did well, I finished fourth in 3.20.45, Rich came 6th in 3.29.34, Guy 7th in 3.35.39 and Stephen 21st in 4.15.55.
It was good to see Rich sneak under 3.30, Guy get a seasons best and Stephen getting some miles in, ready for a 200 mile ultra starting next week.
Denzil always puts on a good event, offering encouragement and banter throughout. The medals are divine, the thought of getting my hand on the luscious lips at the end drove me on. The event is sponsored by 9 bar and at the end Denzil usually gives a couple of bars. This time he gave me a months supply, which I’ll eat in a couple of days. No wonder I’m not at fighting weight.
Guy beamed his car back to the planet Transsexual in the galaxy of Transylvania and we all did the time warp again on the way home.