Sunday, 30 November 2014

Race report and news of Lola Towers

Rose bud with yellow rose behind
Groombridge Place, June 2013
The trip last weekend was to the darkest depths of Surrey, to assist at a 10k forest race organised by our friends. The race consisted of running 5k on road and forest tracks, then round an obstacle course including a river jump, then 5k back to the start. For a fleeting moment when it was first announced I considered actually working towards running the course, but I came to my senses and dropped that idea pretty quickly. I haven't been running recently - it's dark, it's cold, and I've got a lot of other stuff on my plate at the moment (as mentioned in one of my previous blog posts).

We headed south on Saturday and arrived in time to glimpse some of the immense amount of organisation that has been put into this little enterprise. Permission had to be gained from all sorts of different agencies including Highways, Forestry Commission, St Johns Ambulance and probably others, plus the advertising, timekeeping equipment, signage, clothing, T shirts, medals and prizes, catering and much, much more. Lists were very much in evidence - lists of runners, marshalls, equipment, tasks, schedules, phone numbers. There was a slight relaxation of organisational duties for a period on Saturday night, but the day of the race started at 6am with signage being put up.

Unfortunately it turned out to be one of the wettest days of the year, and didn't stop raining heavily for the whole of the race. The part of the obstacle course when runners had to jump across the river was usually just a bit more than a step over a bit of a stream, but the water level rose by at least a foot during the morning and runners were having to wade across a torrent up to their knees. When they returned to the start it truly looked as though they had been swimming rather than running, and some of the marshalls were in a similar condition.

Mr A and I had volunteered to be marshalls, and Mr A was put in charge of car parking while I was dealing with catering at race HQ. Mr A was clad head to toe in weatherproof motorcycle gear but I was thankfully indoors, serving up bacon butties, tea and cake. It all went very well, the St John's team weren't needed, and the home-made lemon drizzle cake went down particularly well - home-made by the organisers, not by me. They put such a lot of work into the event, but the turnout was good and despite the saturating conditions the runners seemed to enjoy it. There's going to be another one next year too; maybe I'll volunteer again.

Then on Tuesday, back at Lola Towers, the long-awaited fuse box replacement started. The electrician turned up exactly when he said he would, which is always a good sign, especially as I'd taken the day off work. He thought the job would take a day and a half, but knowing how unpredictable Lola Towers can be I wasn't surprised when the timescale started to slip. The installation of the new box took the first half day as anticipated, but one of the new switches kept tripping, suggesting a fault somewhere on one of the circuits. Electrician Bill spent the rest of the day a) narrowing down the possible location of the fault while b) ensuring that the heating would be operational at the end of the day, which it was.

On Wednesday he returned, and managed to improve things to the extent that the switch stopped tripping, but was still not happy with the test results, plus he had to do the bit of the job that entails connecting the gas and water supplies to the electrical earth. I had to go back to work so I didn't see how he got on, but at the end of the day we had a chat on the phone and he admitted he'd have to be back on Thursday. This has been an expensive week - the electrical job is going to cost a bit more than what was quoted, plus the car had its service on Tuesday and needed a new battery and two new tyres.

On the plus side, I got a lot done on my day off work. After twenty years I'm having the living room curtains cleaned for probably the first (or possibly the second) time, and then after twelve years of being temporarily tacked up I'm getting them shortened properly. I'm not even doing it myself - they were cleaned at a launderette and taken to a shop for shortening. That's the kind of mood I'm in.

I also went to another 'Diabetes Education Club' lecture at Warwick University - this is a bi-monthly evening event for Diabetes Healthcare Professionals. Last time it was my colleagues talking and demonstrating low carb items, this time it was all about Sodium-Glucose Transporter (SGLT2) inhibition as a treatment for high blood glucose. Want to know more? All will be revealed shortly.

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