10th October 2010 falls on a Saturday. Do you know what that means?

It's a run free day. Means I've entered a 10K event and am going to leave my tyre buddy at home. Am a little nervous about going it alone......
So went out with Tyregirl2 for a 5 mile training run and decided it was time to give Tam a rest. Rec saw an opportunity and squeeked his rubber to get my attention. In fact he was so happy that he carried on screeching his rubber as we ran down hills. Had to slow him down as I could smell the scent of rubber burning!!!
The lovely Tam, slid in for a time of 38:22. The ol' gal seems to be getting faster as she heads into retirement age.

For a number of races now, have had folks query "why Earthwatch?" as well as suggest that if I associated myself with a children's charity or a charity with immediate human consequence, then I would raise more money!

London 2009, I was given the opportunity to run for visually impaired children. The charity "Look" was desperate to find someone to fill the position as they had someone drop out last minute. I took on the challenge and had 6 weeks to raise £1K. It surely was easy to do so, and in fact raised £1.7K.

Human impact is easy to raise funds for because it plays on our direct emotions.  We can "see" the suffering. Charities with a sustainability theme have more difficulty due to the apparent indirect visual impact on us!

For me, I see our natural environment has a direct consequence on our well being and the amount of social disharmony and degradation we have in cities due to a lack of surrounding nature. Our hunger for resources has got to get under control as our planet will not be able to sustain a one directional callous behaviour of consume-discard attitude. Our natural environment should be our number one priority.  Improve on that and I bet we'd improve on the amount of "poor health" we suffer in our environment.

I would love to see those who are unemployed to volunteer some hours doing restoration work in our natural environment, improving the wildlife areas around them so that others who are working and supporting the benefits system can enjoy and appreciate the care/rejuvenation. It is a win win win!!! (those who are interested, web search conservation volunteer work)

I support Earthwatch  for the education they provide and the opportunity they give to  ordinary folks to experience and watch nature in action with full time scientists.

It's not about the money I raise, it's about our environmental consequences and I want to help to reduce that impact that we have on our world by continually keeping this at the top level of our awareness and agenda!
For Tam's last big event, took her to my Aunt and cuzzies to touch up her lippy and was made a little more girly with love hearts tattooed all round. She was loving all the attention and the gal did good. Completing the entire event in 7:51 despite 2-3kms added on due to someone changing the signs! Raised £30.48
Got everything on time like clockwork
Was good except at one point where some horrid person had deliberately changed it.
Checkpoints/Drink Stations:
As I started 2hrs earlier didn't expect any. Saw my first one at about 25km. Seemed to be frequent enough from there on. Could have done with perhaps some sweets or food.

Having just over 2hrs ahead of everyone else, I aimed to be at least 1/2 way before the lead runners would catch up with me.  I had to move and in just under 1:30 had completed 10kms. Everything was going well until we hit Fishers Green. Guided by arrows and signs we found ourselves doing a loop back to Fishers Green. 2-3kms added on. Was not happy.

It was a pretty diversion (see pictures above) and perhaps this might be considered in the future so that a U-turn does not have to be made at the end.

At 10:07 called back to HQ to indicate there was a problem in the area. I couldn't exactly pinpoint my location so they assumed I was lost and tried to sort me out. However having recced the area in June, I indicated I would go left instead of the right indicated by a sign on a bench. About 200m it became apparent that the sign indeed had been turned the wrong way. Texted the organisers the information and was indicated the drinks station would sort it out. Unfortunately it seems they got lost and were not there before the first runners arrived!
I lost 1/2 an hour on the diversion and the confusion. I had to work hard. The hounds had already been let loose at 10am and would quickly catch up with me. We had a quick look at the OlympicWhite Water Rafting area. Looks exciting and perhaps might try it in the future as it will be open to the public. Had to stop sniffing around and get moving.

Just after 20km the first 2 runners appeared. By half way many more appeared and of course I would have to see GymFreak and Naomi :) Am sure they're following me :).
At 25-30k a hug from Foxy. Plodding Hippo snuck up taking photos of Tam. Between 30-35K blind man Paul overtakes me.
38k the twins overtake me and I am struggling. In fact I am close to hitting the wall, recognising the light headedness, I knew I had to sort it out. My prime objective was to get in before 8hrs. It would be bad to be hitting the wall when I was so close. Got another gel out 2k before the end and managed to psych myself up for a 100m run to the finish line.

At the end there was a hug from Hilary, Tracy, Eddie, and more! Tam attracted Charles and thought I might have found her a new home. Unfortunately after a very brief, "trying her out".....he decided she was too heavy to take back to Dublin!

On behalf of Earthwatch, thank you to everyone who donated
So far out of 22 votes, 21 voted for Tam and one for Rec. The public voted and so Tam this is it. I want sub 8 tomorrow!

Tam is screeching at the back. Gonna have to stop her to protect her treads....
Am trying to decide who to take for the 11th Sept. This is going to be a fast run as am hoping to break the 8hr barrier!!

Tam wants to come for a last outing before she retires, having had a short event life in comparison to Ted (her partner). Her treads are a little bit worn with a small gap starting to appear.

Rec on the other hand is young and keen and has done some good times recently. However Tam does have more experience but do I say to her - like all athletes when they're getting on they got to retire whilst the going is good?

I need your help. Who would you like to see this Saturday? See side bar to make your vote.
Strange things have been happening. I was  on a 2 week break to allow my toe some healing time....and I get a call from a running buddy who says "hey want to go pull some tyres this weekend?" The tyres were excited. A new puller!

So now there's a new gal on the tyre pulling scene. She took Rec and I took Ted and Drag. Drag is one of the Olympic kids who came out with me to Hackney Marshes. Ted's the first tyre I took on a 5 mile run and is the veteran of the group. He's pulled into retirement age but likes to take the youngsters out for training sessions.

So Drag started out behind Grand-Pa Ted, and I plodded along with Tyre Girl 2. She thought I was being kind by being slow! But Drag is called Drag because......

Anyway after about 3 miles Tyre Girl 2 took them both. Drag sensing a new puller mischievously tried to escape in the car park. Grand Pa Ted said something and Drag began to sulk and be more of a.....drag.  Drag was tired! Grand Pa Ted softened and put Drag up upon his broad treads. This surely made the pulling process slightly easier and both Tyre Girl 2 and myself were thankful for the short relief.  Short 'cos although the drag was less, the load was heavier!

Ok so what's up with Tyre Girl 2? She's all shiney and new and the tyres think she's wonderful. Tyre Girl 2 - well she's in it for her running technique - the tyres give her immediate feedback about posture to support a nice lean. Then take her off the tyre and woo hoo she boings into action like a bungee!!! I think Tyre Girl 2 will be back for some more sessions. :P