It was very early to be getting up and putting on face glitter (eco-safe glitter) on New years day. The night before I had been at home collating all of my race kit; briefly reflecting on 2017 and looking into 2018 with excitement and trepidation. Thirty4thirty is a challenge that has been in my head for a very long time, it was only made more real by letting the thought out of my mouth and telling someone about it. That was the hardest part. In general all I have had is support, there have been some people doubting me and who have even been insulting at times. However, turning up at Box Hill on a very grey and wet New Years day all the doubters slipped out of my mind.
I felt smug; smug just to be standing on the start line surrounded by the most up-beat people, all happy and healthy people in a huge variety of fancy dress costumes ranging from sharks and whales, Wheres Wally, Cleopatra and even the Queen made an appearance.
Announcements where being made by the race director at the front, his microphone wasn't working so I couldn't hear a thing. All of a sudden people started to scatter - "oh we have started then". There seemed to be two directions the race could go, I just followed the ballerina in front of me. Then down down down down the very steep and muddy hill we ran, past a Scots man playing the bag pipes. I estimated I was only half way down the hill when I started to see the fastest runners (not in fancy dress) heading back up the hill. This seemed to be the order of the race, down a big hill, up a big hill, run to the top of the next hill and then down and up again.
At the bottom and top of the hills there was some very friendly volunteers with well needed jelly babies, jaffa cakes, water and pure encouragement. That was my main resounding memory of the Knacker Cracker, it was the most friendly race I have ever been a part of. Yes it was seriously hard, super hilly, extremely muddy and slippy but the friendliness of everyone was immense; I think that I smiled and chatted my way around with my running partner.
I was having such a good time I was quite shocked see the finish line but I probably shouldn't have been if I just looked at the time. My usual 10km race time would be about 50minutes, I crossed the finish line in 1hour 44minutes! This either shows how hard it was or maybe how much fun I was having.
The medal received was a real hefty one and the t-shirt is fabulous both things of which I will treasure. Thank you to the marshals and the lovely lady who handed my a cup of soup at the end. A seriously great start to thirty4thirty. 1 endurance event down and only 29 to go!