Rat Race Dirty Weekend Part one: Friday Night and some very dirty undies.
For weeks leading up to this event there had been excitement, plans, products, schemes...everything a group of OCR fanatics could come up with to make this weekend truly an epic one.
I would find myself camping amongst the Dutch Mud Men and Mudstacle, in our own area of the campsite, running in the specially reserved yellow and orange wave, amidst waving flags and plumes of yellow and orange smoke. Before we could get to that however, we had to make it through Friday night, and the hotly anticipated World Record attempt, the “Dirty Undies run”.
The concept was to break the World Record of over 2000 runners running 1km clad only in their underwear. I don't think you've ever met a more willing group, ready to strip down than the OCR lot.
A few weeks previously, Scott “Honey Badger” Seefeldt had floated the idea of a Mudstacle take over, and us all dressing in Yellow Mudstacle pants...always up for a challenge I took it upon myself to manufacture god knows how many pants (bye bye training, hello sewing machine!) to try and make this happen.
Of course, being in charge of cladding so many Mudstaclites bottoms meant that sods law, my journey on the Friday took several hours longer than planned with oodles of traffic, and much panicking from me “But I need to give everyone their pants!!”, armed with insider knowledge and much coffee, however I finally made it in time to ensure those bottoms did not go uncovered (I know, you're welcome!)
The location for the weekend was the incredible Burghley Park, a place I had only heard of previously when one of my best friends and ex work colleagues spent a week there shooting her companies new season Haute Couture collection, I could safely say that any photographs I came out with from this weekend would be of a totally different nature to hers!
With the panic over, and having been met and escorted to our designated camping area by some friendly Mudstacle chaps, I began the process of handing over the pants whilst awaiting my roomie for the weekend, and fellow RAW member, the lovely Kim Bolton.
Already in possession of their new initialled sports jackets, skin tight pants were quickly donned by the men (I was surprised at the proportion of take up between men and women I must say) and they revelled in the once in a life time chance of being "perved" upon: although credit where it's due, I did hear the statement “This is weird...is this what's it's like being a girl??” It didn't seem to stop them though!
Half naked and raring to go, the clan made their way down to the marquee, dumping their dry robes upon an unsuspecting Kerrie Fisher.
To be honest, making my way through a crowd of half naked people did cause some difficulties, but it was impressive how comfortable and un-weird everyone was.
We were treated to some banter, and three guests were brought on stage one of whom was Nancy Little, who had chosen to the run the 1km in just her knickers and no Bra, she received mixed responses for this, and I asked her what her reasoning behind doing it was.
Unfortunately, the back lash from this decsion has meant that she has been repeatedly banned from Facebook, but she is, as I am very keen to put her side across and as soon as normal service is restored, I am sure we will be hearing from her.
As we set off, some runners taking it seriously, such as the gorgeous Christie Wright, who went on to win the ladies title, dressed in some pretty provocative stockings and barely there undies (ladies, If I looked like that, I would!) and others taking their time.
What struck me immediately was how happy and comfortable everyone was. I hadn't know whether to run in a t shirt or in my sports bra, but as most people were in sports bra I went for it. I hadn't been feeling that confident but I thought, it'll be fine. Whilst running I saw every type of body, from short to tall, muscular to soft, slim to... not so slim. And guess what?
No one cared.
No one gave a damn, they were having fun, no one was running covering themselves up, everyone was having fun, and once again I felt the love for this sport and for these people. There was no heckling, no mickey taking...everyones doing it for themselves.
I know I go on a lot about the spirit of OCR, but it really exists. No one has time to be horrible to anyone else, because we are all overcoming our own things, whether you are winning or coming in last, you are pushing yourself and somehow, being in a difficult situation opens you up to help others.
We are all in this together.
Unfortunately, we weren't successful on our World Record attempt, but we'll be trying again next year I'm sure... although can we handle what people have up their sleeves for then? Let's wait and see....