‘Love is in the air
Everywhere I look around
Love is in the air
Every sight and every sound
And I don't know if I'm being foolish
Don't know if I'm being wise
But it's something that I must believe in
And it's there when I look in your eyes
Love is in the air
In the whisper of the trees
Love is in the air
In the thunder of the sea.’
DAY eight of the Brathay 10 marathons in 10 days is drawing to a close. The rain is hammering down outside and the wind is picking up in anger. The forecast, however, is for a good sunny weekend in the southern Lakes – I hope so if only so that the Brathay Windermere marathon on Sunday can be the resounding success it deserves to be.
I must admit I am emotional tonight – although love, I am sure, is in the air.
Little Adrian, my roommate, is tired, battered and injured and gone to bed early to sort himself out. I offered to tuck him in but he refused (an indication that he is not well). I miss him – he’s a good man with a bubbly, infectious character. Knowing him, Adrian will be sparky tomorrow and run the marathon of a lifetime. I hope so. A happy Adrian is good for everyone. This sour world of ours needs happy Adrians. I have developed a soft spot for him.
I am also slightly tearful because I am reaching the end of my physical reserves. My body is stiffening up day by day – and today I had a pretty gruesome throbbing pain in my right knee which started as soon as I began running. Thankfully, a high dose of nurofen sorted me out. The brilliant physios at Body Rehab tell me that all will be well – but it’s put a little doubt into my mind. I would be devastated if the Prestridge diesel train was derailed on day nine.
A few thank you’s for those who helped me through day eight of the Brathay Challenge – 209.6 miles gone, 52.4 miles to go – and have kept me going throughout the event.
First thank you goes to Rita Samson for returning to the course to hand out jelly babies at mile 10. This welsh legend should have a statute erected in the car park at mile 10 in recognition of her services to Brathay 10in10 runners – ‘the jelly baby queen’. I look forward to her welsh jelly babies tomorrow.
Secondly, a mighty thank you to ‘Big Un’ – wife of the ‘miserable’ Nick Woodward. Nick and I are the two grumpy old men of the 18 10in10ers and we spend most of the time running together and putting the world to rights.
‘Big Un’, a mean runner in her own right, is never far away (apart from when she is going for a pee in the woods) ready to hand out offerings – bananas, chocolate muffins and Jaffa cakes. ‘Big Un’ is one of life’s good people. The fact that she puts up with Nick speaks volumes for her. You would struggle to find two nicer people than Nick and ‘Big Un’ – salt of the earth people who call a spade a spade and can suss people out straightaway. Certainly, when I am in the Lakes running up Loughrigg, I wil hunt them down and take them out for a slap up lunch.
Thirdly, I have to thank Body Rehab for their marvellous healing hands. What a team. What wonderful people. Professional to the core. I am sure that without them I would now be in a crumpled heap somewhere out on the course, undetected to man or lamb.
Fourthly, Aly Knowles and Mac, the Brathay team that make the Brathay10in10 event run like clockwork, have been brilliant. Nothing is too much trouble for them. And God, have they helped me out, finding my phone, searching for my bee pollen (it keep me buzzing throughout the run) and handing me out coffee when I’ve asked for it.
Fifthly, I thank family and friends for keeping me going with their texts – everyone from my Mum (Mum: you better come on Sunday), my sisters (Joy and Pauline), my brother and brother in law (Dave and Simon – the latter is running the Windermere marathon on the Sunday), my boys (Matt, Mark and James), work colleagues (Jo, Stephen, Toby, Richard and Helen) and of course my gorgeous partner Joanna. Indeed I am thrilled that Joanna, Richard, Toby and the wonderful Helen are all trundling up to Windermere to support me on my final day. True friends, true friends for life.
Finally, from the bottom of my heart, I thank all of you who have donated via www.justgiving.com/jeff-prestridge. Every penny is gratefully received. And I thank all of you who have read my blogs at www.jeffprestridge.blogspot.com or tweeted via www.twitter.com/jeffprestridge.
Remember: love is in the air! Always will be. Always should be.