There are 2 things you should know about me: I like a sense of achievement and I love anything free. So naturally, organized events are one of my favourite places to be. While I was at university, I went to every Freshers fair. Collecting pens, glasses, t–shirts, key rings… anything and I would grab it. It was an opportunity to release my inner kleptomaniac and the sheer amount of ‘junk‘ I collected gave me a sense of achievement. I would be buzzing.
After uni, my opportunity to get ‘free‘ things has been quite limited. Despite the odd free pen from the reps at work, there isn‘t anything else you can do, nothing like freshers at least. So I started participating in sports events and over the years I have managed to obtain 5 cycling medals, 3 running medals and a bunch of free t–shirts. Now, I know that if I have to pay a registration fee for each event then these shirts and medals aren‘t actually free but I like that illusion. It doesn‘t matter to me how much I had to pay, crossing that finish line and receiving a medal that I will get to take home and treasure fills me with so many endorphins that it is worth every penny, every bead of sweat or tear. To me, it‘s worth it.
I like to try and beat last years target when it comes to medals. Ignoring the first medal, which I won while suffering from bulimia, 3 years before my medal obsession truly began, I am successfully matching the amount of medals each year. In 2017, I completed 2 cycle races. Last year I earned a further 2 medals from cycle races. I would have earnt a third if I had completed the Arctic One Challange, but we all know what happened there… And in 2019, I have already won 3 medals: 2 running and 1 cycling. 2 of those medals were won this weekend in what has got to be the most tiring yet exhilarating weekends of my life.
After I completed this years first running race back in march, I immediately booked myself onto Colour5k. Colour5k is (as you might have guessed) a 5k run where a different color paint is thrown at you for each kilometer you complete. It‘s a messy race and nothing quite prepared me for how filthy I would become. We received a free t–shirt (woop!) this event, which must be worn during the race. I‘m very thankful I did wear mine given the state I was about to get in. The route was through Hover ton Hall Gardens, a beautiful state home with a lovely woodland trail.
The colors for each kilometer were: 1k — Red
2k — Orange
3k — Teal
4k — Purple
5k — Pink (I think, I was too caught up at the moment to notice).
It was a nice race and everyone was super friendly but sadly for us, the heavens had opened and it rained for most of the race, turning the powered paint into actual paint (You should have seen the state of my shower once I got home). The rain did slow us down and my 5k time was a little embarrassing but it was so worth it to be awarded a nice multicolored medal.
Today, I took part in the annual Cycle Swarm race around Norfolk. I only booked this event 4 days ago while feeling a bit impulsive. You might remember that I took part in Cycle Swarm last year, complete ting the 75-mile route, which still haunts me to this day. This time, I chose to do the 35-mile route, knowing my legs would be sore from yesterdays escapade. The weather was the complete opposite of yesterday. Sun beaming down on us the whole route which zig-zigged around some of Norfolks most beautiful landscapes. Apart from the odd hill at the beginning and the dreaded hill at Spixworth (that damn hill is featured in every sportive I‘ve done), the ride was lovely and flat. With music pumping into my ear, I managed to complete the trek in 3 hours, shaving a very respectable hour off my previous 35 mile time that I did back in 2017. I even have some very nice cyclist tan lines on my arms. The medal is also one of my favorites out of my whole collection. Shaped like a bike gear, it’s a much-needed improvement on last years ‘block rectangle‘.
I‘m hoping to get at least one more medal before the year is out, taking my grand total to 9. They really are a nice memento of each race I have taken part in and no two are the same. And if nothing else, at least I‘m getting some exercise out of it.