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Sherwood Pines - Rasselbock Run

A Fartlekers experience - by Nick Finney

I just got back to 'Norf London after an amazing 30 hours up 'Norf at the latest Rasselbock event, which was our first Fartlek Family meet up of 2023.

The Sherwood Pines run last January was an absolute game changer to me; I'd given up on being able to run more than 10k due to injuries and old age, but now there was this event where you could run 5k with your mates; have a chat and a laugh; walk if you wanted; stop and have a cup of tea and a slice of cake, then do it all again when you felt ready. I was really looking forward to doing it again this year.

I got up at stupid o'clock on Sunday (4.30am) and arrived at Sherwood Pines just after 8am. It's quite overwhelming to walk into the Race HQ and see face after face after face from my IG squares. You get to a point where you can't remember who you said hello to and who you didn’t, but what is lovely is that no one cares, we just all arrive, hang out and have fun.

The pre-race is a bit like one of those car meet ups you see on the Fast and Furious films, only instead of muscle cars, everyone is rocking Dry Robes and Garmins.

As for the run itself, there were loads of PB's and great achievements. The leading runners completed close to 58km distance wise, which is mad. As for our gang, a big shout out to Pete Marshall who ran the furthest he's ever gone. His first ever marathon came up in 3.28, and he completed 46.3km altogether.

Slacky powered through over 40km in 3.39, but was hobbling around at the end, hopefully nothing too serious as that lad is a machine!

Then there's our Julie, Julie, Julie, Julie (ahhhhh ahhhh ahhhhhhh) and Paul Griffiths, both completing 40.5k, Paul went straight off to make it up to a marathon, Julie was surprised by her lovely other half Ariela turning up with their fluff baby Leah.

There were loads of other great runs, too many to mention, though I guess I could mention me - 18.6 miles, way more than my previous best of 15 miles, but I don’t like to brag or anything.

I should however mention the man bringing up the rear, Mr Mat Taylor. Bless him. He started brightly but popped his calf after half a mile, something that the rest of us got away with despite no one doing any kind of warm up that I saw. Mat took it gracefully as always, despite being made to sit on a toadstool for the group pic at the end of the day while young Harry Hitchmough shouted 'One Mile Mat' repeatedly, his father was beaming with pride.

When I got back home, I saw the WTF IG feed had a reel depicting the day, accompanied by a song from Kesha:

"I hear your heartbeat to the beat of the drums

Oh, what a shame that you came here with someone

So, while you're here in my arms

Let's make the most of the night

Like we're gonna die young

We're gonna die young

We're gonna die young

Let's make the most of the night

Like we're gonna die young"

I'm not young, but I do feel like I might die right now. That's maybe an exaggeration, but if I live to see tomorrow, I will be eternally grateful to have spent Sunday with so many brilliant people. Viva the Fartlek Family!!!

PS: big respect to the legend who ran at least four laps as a unicorn


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