This story is a continuation of last week's drama at London Marathon.
It still stars: Rec, mini-me, bucket and the animals; Tyre Girl (TG) & the Earthwatch Gals (EWG); Uncle
Empty bottles and pedestrians
Miles 7-11: EWG Support
Unloaded and lighter - TG was baaaaaacccck.....errr well not quite. A short lived burst of energy saw TG walking fast after a 50 metre slow jog. Her legs needed to recover from the earlier hauling. However her pace was fast enough to overtake the donkey, the brass horse, and the footballer.

The cleaning trucks had now appeared and the streets were empty of supporters. As we headed along a housing estate, supporters were well into celebrating the day with BBQs and parties.  At this TG decided to stuff a flapjack into her gob.....

"TG!" - a gal called out of a car. "I should have known you'd be out here"

Bad timing for TG - mouth full of flapjack and unable to swallow fast enough, on the other hand good timing as TG could not remember where she'd seen the familiar face and hoped the time delay would help. She shook the gal's hand and muttered something about a full mouth.

"No worries mate, we'll see ya further up the road"

The time delay was beneficial as the next time she saw the woman, something was said to remind TG that this was one of the two2go organisers (one2go will be going ahead on 10th Sept 2011). (Nice seeing ya Kylie)

EWGs sending us off
Passing mile 10, the EWGs arrived. It was great to see them. New energy and enthusiasm to energise the way. At mile 11, more coinage was off loaded plus got "back pack" off me, which meant I was now  lighter and could give TG a better glide on an otherwise warm day. I don't like hot tarmac roads. Still I was glad it wasn't Singapore as heard from Tring and Trang, it ain't pleasant on the rubber!

Uncle appeared and advised them not to try to follow us all the way and instead to go to certain points around the course. So as TG sped up the EWGs gave us a Mexican wave although they did continue all the way to mile 13.

Miles 11-14: FetchPoint Energy
TG knew we had to get moving otherwise risk the official signage being removed and having to map the route via runner's rubbish of gels and drink  bottles strewn on the ground. 

As TG took a slow jog towards Tower Bridge, a cool welcoming breeze floated round us. Feeling more energised, TG increased her pace and as we swung round the corner of the mall, we saw a wonderful sight........a wet road! I glided and slided and TG took it all in her stride, slowing briefly to take a gel.

Coming towards mile 13, the Fetchies were out in force, singing out choruses of encouragement from across the road. The crowd support kept us going and we sped along until we reached the underpass towards the traffic light tree. The "dancing man" was just in front and TG had to belt out a couple of power ballads.

Miles 15-19: Entering the Drunk Zone
As we approached the "drunk zone" where the streets are lined with pubs, TG entered cautiously. Ted (TG's first tyre) had told me that he and TG had a hard time in 2009 with glass bottles being slung at them and raging drunken youths spitting and yelling obsenities. We had none of that as we had entered that zone much earlier than in Ted's year and perhaps it was too early for the drunks to be drunk! Instead TG was offered a chocolate bar.

We were now steadily overtaking more participants, occasionally slowing down to help those who were struggling.

Miles 19-21: Limehouse Trouble
In 2009, TG had gangs of kids following her. This year she was thankful there were none and began counting her blessings. Perhaps a little too soon...... As we were passing Limehouse, 2 young kids of about 10 years old crept up on me. They took hold of me and TG came to a sudden stop pinging back from the pull on the rope.
There was nothing I could do.

TG turned around: "Hey kids what's up?"
Kid 1: "We want your tyre"
TG: "I've got a event to finish. You can have Rec at the finish line" <I did panic at the thought of being given away to this young...errr thug"
Kid 1 demands: "We want your tyre. Give us a ride!" <kid jumps onto tyre>

TG: "Listen you can get your own tyre from a car shop. C'mon now hop off."

The kid refused continuing to demand to have a ride. TG's patience was quickly dissolving so TG tugged Rec abruptly causing the kid to jump off the tyre.

Kid laughs, taunting and antognising us for about 50 more metres before clearing off, or perhaps it was the sight of a policeman.
By this point we were forced onto the pavement. However TG was relieved that she had now cleared the part that she and Ted had once gotten waylaid by drunks, gangs of kids and lost due to the signage having been taken down.

Luke pulls!
Mile 22: 2 Tyred Boy
"Oi TyreGirl!"
TG looked around to see Luke looking exhausted across the road but mustering up energy to send a cheery wave. He was only coming up to mile 13. My heart felt for him and his low profile tyres were not well trained. They were teasing Luke by digging into the smallest uneven-ness in the ground causing him dragging problems. Guess that is what happens when using "posh" tyres!!! TG sent a quick call back of encouragement and we continued in our respective directions.

TG needed to keep moving before her energy depleted. By this time the Earthwatch team had rejoined us.

Split times to tell the story
Mile 23 - End
Being on the pavement, we had a beautiful view of the embarkment rather than having to perservere in a dark tunnel that heads under Blackfriars. Seeing the River Thames flowing by, disseminating positive ions into the air, continued to breathe energy into the surroundings.

However TG feeling her energy levels starting to wane, asked Pippa (one of the EWGs) to pass her a honey sandwich that was in the back pack she was carrying for TG. TG slowed right down for a couple of hundred metres and it was great. I could enjoy the sun rays and the views. Having sorted out her hunger, TG was now on the move to finish the race. We were now having to interchange between road and pavement.

We saw Big Ben at 17:45. TG was on a mission to get the race done by 18:00.

Heading into St. Jame's park, TG fears of the finishing point being taken down were allayed as she saw the timer was still standing. With happiness she put in more effort to run over the line, but not before one of the other participants thought he match her and then leg it to the line. He wasn't going to be beaten by a Tyred Girl!

Job done in 8:08. TG was happy as this matched her Singapore time in Dec 2010 and the dread of 2009 that she carried on the course became nothing.

We collected over £100 in donations. Thank you to everyone who donated on the day. All donations will be going to Earthwatch.

Next month's marathon, someone has advertised that TG will be pulling a truck tyre! They must be mad.....although TG is looking at pulling Landy, a 15kg tyre. I'm trying to persuade her to take Red, my sister tyre......

This story stars: Rec, mini-me, bucket and the animals; Tyre Girl (TG) & the Earthwatch Gals (EWG); Uncle
Check List:
- 190 seed packets made for the event with courgette and sunflower seeds (took 5 hrs and some with the help of Alison - someone I randomly met!)
- Rec underwent a make-over.
- Other tyres and animals excited about London so they had a ballot and "mini-me" won, plus tigger, a seal, a dinosaur, a turtle, another tiger and a chameleon all got a ride through London.
- Gels and salt in bag ready for a hot day.

- Emergency supplies, in case all drinks stations are closed (as in 2009)

In The Beginning
TG regretted putting chilli all over the pasta meal. It burnt her stomach and that meant it was going to be bad in the morning and it was! We stayed at a hotel a couple of miles from Greenwich along with many other runners. There was a buzz of excited anticipation at breakfast and TG chatted up several runners! Upon exiting the hotel, TG saw one of the runners (
Scottish Derrick ) she had met at breakfast about to make his way to the tube. He  happily helped TG carry me (Rec) to the blue zone! (Thank you Derrick - hope you had a brilliant race)

Toilet Stop
Of course the mandatory toilet stop had to be made along with thousands of others but TG's eyes caught a central fenced off area - "female urinals"! I (Rec) decided to hang out with a bunch of runners and listen to their excited chatters about their preparation. etc. whilst TG went to explore!

On entering, TG saw rows of bums facing rows of urinals and was amazed. Not wanting to watch, she harrassed one lady who was exiting as to how it was done.

The Cardboard Thingy
"Yah gotta get a cardboard thingy at the entrance"

...and off TG went to locate the "cardboard thingy". Eureka....and minutes later, TG was enjoying the space. In her own words that she shared with the runners I was hanging out with "So much better to air one's bum. You guys (think she was talking to the 2 fellas) have it so easy"

Embarrassed I moved TG on towards pen 9, our pen.

Always try out your gear before a marathon....
Amazingly we bumped into people TG knew.....ultra Kaz, Foxsake, Mr Tesco man.....In fact Mr Tesco man helped TG carry me to our pen and the 30 minute walk to the start line!

Whilst we were waiting for the start to begin, TG finally tries putting her backpack on for the first time after adding Chameleon to the show. Chameleon disapproves, not wanting to be blocked, and makes it difficult for TG to get her backpack on.  Armed with a backup nylon rope, TG decides to tie her backpack onto poor ol bucket.

Urgh and I feel another 3 kg weight upon my treads - of extra food, extra drink, a rain mac (BBC weather predicted showers) and a light jacket in case it got cold. Perhaps a little OTT (over the top).

I feel nervous for TG about this last minute thought.

The Race

After mile 4: Bag in bucket
Miles 0-2: A heavy bucket
The first couple of miles were fantastic, the cheering crowd was deafening and TG handed out seed packets to unsuspecting supporters who were not sure of what she was giving!

0.5 miles in, a man is following TG picking up fallen coins from the ground that have missed  bucket. As the noise of the crowd dies down, TG notices the tall runner saying "don't worry" to a supporter and TG hears a "ching-ching" in her bucket as he picks up more loose change that had missed bucket. She only then begins to feel the weight and thus the drag. This kind runner followed us until mile 2 picking up more coinage from supporters and placing it in bucket. (Big hugs to the kind runner who delayed his time to help TG who was unaware of anyone throwing coins into her bucket)

As bucket became weighed down with coinage, I could not help but press my worn treads further into the tarmac, slowing TG's pace. Although TG was expecting the EWGs to be at Mile 3, she called Uncle at mile 1.5 to see where he was.

He responded "miles away at Waterloo".
TG: "Ok, hopefully the Earthwatch gals will be waiting for me at mile 3 but please try to get here soon in case as it feels like I'm now dragging 20kgs"

Note: Rec weighed 10 kilos; bucket, bag and other minor additions weighed 3 kilos. At this point the main bulk of the coinage had brought her total dragging weight up to 20 kgs

TG yelled out: "Notes are okay"
Some spectators gave her 2 scottish one pound notes.

TG wanted to reach the finish line before the organisers took down everything. TG did not want to repeat being "lost" as in 2009 when Ted (her first trye) was weighed with coinage and no-one was there to relieve them of that coinage. She was more organised this she thought and as she neared mile 3, she looked around. There were more crowds.

Mile 3-6: A Call for Help
TG called out
"Earthwatch are you there?"
The crowd looked at TG confused and although there was noise, TG heard silence!
TG called out again: "Errr.....this is for the animals, our forests, our oceans and Earthwatch are monitoring our impact. Support Earthwatch!"

She called out this cry, all the way from the crowd to the mile marker. Only applause followed and more money tossed into the bucket.

With a feeling of apprehension at no one being there, TG decided to call Uncle to see where he was.
"Sorry TG, am still miles away, maybe see you at mile 5"
"Ok please try to come sooner" - TG was now starting to sound a little desperate as flash backs of being lost in London marathon 2009 began to surface.

Having disconnected her call, TG noticed a missed call on her mobile. The EWGs had attempted to call her, but due to the noise of the crowd TG had not heard the call. A text message appeared on her phone, but that was always going to be impossible to read with a clear blue sky and full sunshine radiating down.

Excited TG attempted to call back.
TG: "Hey Laura - are you here? Have passed mile 3 and am heading towards mile 4"
Laura: "Oh no - you're much faster than we thought. We've missed you. We'll get on further upstream and try to catch up"
TG: "Oh.....okay......errr hope to see you guys soon" - TG attempted to sound happy.

Mile 4 and TG gave Uncle another call in the hope that he would magically appear as she had now slowed right down to a medium-slow walk and had a donkey following her. Uncle tried to reassure TG that he would be there in 1/2 an hour.

Spectator calls out: "Keep going Tyregirl. Are you tired?"
TG: "Yes just call me TIRED Girl"
Another spectator: "You must be regretting this now"
TG: "Well this is my 19th marathon with a tyre and I've got 81 more after this one. There are no regrets!"

A couple more spectators repeated the same calls through to mile 6. TG must have looked tired and was glad she had sunglasses on as she did not want them to see her eyes of anguish. The thought of 2009 where all the signage had being taken down after mile 15 and being lost were playing in her head. So just after mile 4, TG put her backpack into her bucket to reduce coinage going in. It was then that she observed that the donkey (another runner and his crew) was still following her and taking advantage of the situation, collecting coinage people that would have gone in TG's bucket. Fair play to donkey, TG was happy another animal charity was benefiting and she certainly did not want any more coinage in her bucket! They followed us until mile 6.

Mile 5-6: Where is Uncle?
As TG reached mile 5, Uncle was no-where to be seen. She again called Uncle in distress. He tried to be calm and told TG he was moving as fast as he could to get there. TG was desperate to unload as visions of the finish line being dismantled now flashed before her.  She tried to move faster.

By mile 6, TG's legs were burning and she begged Uncle to get here faster! She kept positive thoughts in her head to keep her going.

Mile 7
: Unburdened
As mile marker loomed into view, TG called Uncle to see where he was.

Uncle: "Am still far away"
TG nearly cried at the thought and feebly responded "Really?" as energy drained from her.
Uncle: "Am just on the other side of mile 7"
In a snap instant TG's emotions changed: "Really?"

Buoyed by the thought of getting rid of the 7 kgs of coinage, TG put more effort to get to the looming mile marker. Soon Uncle came across the mile marker and TG's face lit up with total relief. Coinage unloaded, TG could now begin to move a little faster and motivated by the supporters from the flats encouraging her on: "Go go go Tyregirl!"

Soon after Laura called to tell TG they were at mile 11 and if she'd be okay to continue dragging the load until then. With a cheeky cheery reply TG said "no problem"......

The story continues with Part 2 next week as there is trouble ahead for TG!

Will get this written over the bank holiday. It was an awesome day out!

2.5 hrs to make 90 packets to contains some seeds. Altogether 5 hours to create 200 seed packets!

Rec has undergone a make over for the day
My number is 10834

From the kick off time, think it will be 20-30 mins before I get over the start line as will be positioned right at the back. So say I am over the start line at about 10:15 and take about 20 mins per mile. Means I roughly estimate that I will be at the finish line by about 18:30. Perhaps the weather will be kind and might find energy to do better!
Introducing Red's first outing and first event to make my 18th marathon.....

The night before, my cuz Sara was hard at work beautifying Red and perhaps she made her look too good. For on the day, Red thought she was a designer tyre! In fact Red became a little high maintenance....

It did not help that at the start of the event, TG was a little confused about the directions and was like a sheep following a group of walkers who were doing a completely different route to the one TG was supposed to do. So after a 15 minute phaff, TG finally got herself orientated on the correct route in the right direction.

The route directions were simple to follow after the inital "dawdle", and the daffodils were pretty as they smiled back at the sun. Red on the otherhand became difficult. As we went over freshly ploughed fields, she caught herself on lumps of dirt and kept grumbling to TG that it was spoiling her paint work. TG gave in and carried her over the rest of the lumpy fields.

Red spotted mud and dug her treads hard into the ground, so TG had to pick her up again and carry her over the muddy ground. Red felt tired on the hills and once again TG caved in to Red's reluctance to be dragged up a hill and carried her up. No other tyre has ever been so pampered. TG felt she should give Red a chance as this was the first time she was being dragged and had some taming to do.

Towards the end of the route, we met a couple from Sussex who joined us (Ben and wife), and to help her over some uneven ground, she got a little kick from Ben. She yelped and blushed! In fact after a couple more kicks from Ben, Red decided to show Ben that she could move, and slid along a dirt track. Towards the end of the route, Red forgot about the mud as she showed off that she could also be a horse whisperer. As the horses followed Red, she went straight into the mud and out. So much for ensuring the paint work wasn't damaged!

Daffodil Dawdle is a pleasant course with well written instructions. As always with the LWDA events, the volunteers are happy and there was plenty of food during the event and a meal at the end of the event with plenty of cakes!

Now onwards for London!