Failing to complete the Daffodil Way
I was very impressed with Anne-Marie’s account of completing the Poet’s Path marathon with Stuart and Rachel. I thought I would lower the tone and add a bit of comic relief, with my version.
My intention was always just to run the 10 mile (16 k) version – the Daffodil Way. However I missed the deadline set by Phil to do the run and get mentioned in dispatches. So I emailed him and said I was intending to do it before Christmas, just because I wanted to. He kindly said that if I did that, I wouldn’t be on the official results list but he would send me a medal.
So off I drove, on Saturday 19 December. The weather looked quite good and I was optimistic. I started to have a few doubts when I saw just how wet the road was north of Gloucester and how much water was lying in the fields. But I got to Dymock, turned on my trusty OS App, and started at about 9 15.
The first part of the route was on a track, and it was possible to avoid the puddles. But once I took to the fields, yes, there was the water lying between the furrows and there was I wading through it. It was very soggy, and the gloopy sensation of socked foot detaching itself from mud-bound shoe became too familiar. After nearly 5 km I got back on to the lane through Kempley, breathing a sigh of relief. The run was taking longer than planned, but hey, that didn’t matter. The other side of Kempley I found the right stile, and launched myself across the next field – tried to find a way across – this way .then that way.
Then two things happened. It started to rain heavily – not forecast. And the route along the stream was much wetter than the earlier fields. Sog became bog. I decided to go back to the lane and try to find a roughly equivalent route on tarmac. A little further on, I turned a corner, and oh no the actual road was flooded! It was only 100 metres, but having waded through it I was soaked from head to foot and utterly miserable. I decided that discretion was the better part and ran back to Dymock, completing only 10 of the intended 16 km.
Of course by the time I got back to Dymock the sun was out again and I was fairly dry. But I was too tired to run another 6 k, so went home, and a little later emailed Phil explaining what had happened.
That kind man sent me a medal anyway – a very fine bunch of daffodils. I am determined to do the proper run some time in 2021 and actually earn it. But I’ll wait for a spot of dry weather.