A blizzard run in Dundalk with ‘little hailstones lacerating my face’
Ruth Field accepts an invitation to run with Ray in Dundalk on Maunday Thursday
And so much more joy in the aftermath – a joy that is multiplied precisely for being part of a bigger, team effort.
Back to Dundalk. Gritty comes nowhere near to describing the conditions at the start of our 5k run with Ray. As the mountainous snowy backdrop at the starting line hoved into view, I berated myself for not wearing warmer clothes, hat, scarf, gloves, and so on.
I had Pat Shortt to keep me company over the first kilometre or so, as we struggled to breathe in the freeze.
Thank God, as I needed a laugh, which was also inadvertently provided by Ray: a vision in shorts bouncing around for ages both before and after the race like a deranged puppy.
I abandoned Pat, who gallantly told me to run on and his timing was perfect as I felt as though I had broken the 10-minute mark (when every sinew in your body is just screaming for it all to end).
Thank God, because almost as if on cue, the biting wind and icy cold air was replaced by what can only be described as a light blizzard, tiny little hailstones lacerating my face as I ran into its full force.
I cursed the Lord himself – whose agony in the Garden of Gethsemane could surely not compare to this.
Suddenly, the finishing line hoved into view, it was at least a kilometre away, probably more, but I could see it and that was enough to spur me on.
I sped up, picking off runners all the way to the finishing line and was then whisked off back into the warmth, leaving Ray chatting to the participants, and Pat – who I feared had likely died in the blizzard.
Into the warm bosom of the hotel and then some warm soup and sarnies with Ray and his wonderful team, complete with all that inspired and enthusiastic chat which always follows a race.
We were all aglow, and a million times more so because of the blizzard. I felt wonderful, so pleased to have come to Dundalk, so honoured to have been asked, and so miffed that Pat Shortt’s celebrity so far exceeded my own.
It was the perfect way to start the Easter weekend – a blizzard run in Dundalk. Nothing was going to faze me after that.
Tweet your running queries to Ruth at: @gritdoctor
Ruth Field is author of Run, Fat Bitch, Run