• Duncan Evans

Brathay 10in10 – Chapter 8 – Clean the Augean Stables in a Single Day

My sister just sent me a text, ‘Day 7 on the Big Brother Marathon!  One foot in front of the other and so on!’  Putting one foot in front of the other is becoming incrementally more difficult as the days progress.  Today, was the lowest point for me so far.  Between Box 5 and Box 9, my shins have never hurt so much, my eyes welled up so often and the frustration, anger and (looking back on a positive) grit never been more apparent.  If anyone had taken any form of picture during that eight miles it would have been acutely apparent how I felt, no translation necessary.

As anyone who knows me, I don’t do pain well.  If you think I’m negative this evening or down or disappointed, I’m not, I’ve just had to dig the deepest to achieve something that for the longest period since I’ve been here I thought I couldn’t or wouldn’t.  Let’s consider it a low tide, but with every wane or wax of the moon, the tide ebbs and flows.  Tomorrow is another day.  Back to the topic in hand.  I don’t do pain well.  The strange thing about pain is that it bleeding hurts.  To inflect pain on self, regardless of the reason, may be attention seeking, a cry for help, or determination to exorcise demons.  Clean house.  This seventh marathon helped me tidy a few things away, just it hurt.  And on return a little chat with Adam Smith about my self medication.  My favourite sweeties now seem to be sugar coated Ibu made by Profen.  I’m taking what I need to get the job done.  Aimee and I got up to deliver and receive physio at 6:30.  Preparation is all important now.  The days are getting longer, but at least the sun is shining.  After active recovery (Sheldon’s Spot was taken) we had to settle for a plinth by the window with the ‘elite’ runners (Jonathan Carter and Liane Warren).  Sean Warburton‘s fish finger recovery sandwiches are going down a treat by the way, tip for any recovery athletes, this is top fodder.

It seemed like there was some sort of tag-team challenge going on, each part of my leg was being worked on by Dr Katie, Adam or Aimee.  At one point I was yelping, screaming, snorting and even tried to laugh to see if that would help.  It didn’t (well a little) but physio today was a necessary evil.  It hurt, and I was howling (sorry fellow 10in10ers) so much, that Dr Katie asked me who (as in who was hurting me most), I replied both of you; her reply ‘there’s three of us’.

So today was about doing the necessary.  Another marathon done.  Doing the essential, last night I limped back to Shackleton Lodge, where we all stay, and before doing my bottles noticed all of the crap that day in day out the Support Crew (Sandra Wade, Jim Meta, Aly, Paul and Trudy Dewar) clear away for us and no doubt the Chefs, Housekeepers and all of the other back of house staff who we barely see but ensure that everything is put away for us, prepared on time for us, all so that we can make old fart fools of ourselves as we attempt to run another marathon around a bloody big pond.

This morning there was a couple of announcements (everything happens for a reason), Mark Haynes reminded us we were the lucky ones, that some people were no longer with us and didn’t have the opportunity we have.  He had two hand-made signs from his daughters which stir the soul (I’d read them when he’d unpacked and left them on his bed day 1) and shared them with our Fellowship.  I couldn’t read them, couldn’t look up even, it would have been too much.  Too hard, too emotional and too early in the day.  I remembered what Mark said as I passed the chalked Miles for Matt sign on the pavement at White Cross Bay, it was all I needed to get me round.  Another phrase that was used this morning to help us appreciate how lucky we actually are was, ‘look left’; Windermere sits on our left shoulder from Newby Bridge back home, even on a crap day, you’d have to be cold to not appreciate the emotive natural beauty of all around us, add that to the people who are putting themselves to Hell (Newby Bridge) and back daily and you have to hand it to us, we have right cause to be proud of ourselves.

There were some bobble heads in a window at Bowness, it was like I felt today, wobbly! But another 15 minutes off my time from yesterday and another Radio interview this evening.  Perhaps that’s why I was frustrated because I wanted to Copy and Paste my mood from yesterday, unfortunately you cannot take anything for granted as each day is different on the Brathay Bounce.  Today, computer said, ‘NO!’  I can’t wait to CTRL-ALT-DELETE after Sunday and reboot, ready to re-apply for next year and do myself some more justice…


Today was a ‘Flake’ day for Adrian Brooks, his 99th marathon, tomorrow he joins the 100 Club.

So I’d like to say a huge thank you to all of the Support Team who keep us going and clean our crap away, I’m sure it must be like cleaning the Augean Stables daily, so thank you.

Day 8 tomorrow, the journey continues… or a story of ‘there and back’ again…

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