Saturday, 14 April 2012

This Stage was meant to be breeze...

1:30pm Stage five, I read the 'roadbook' (you can find this in the MdS website just under their banner - hover over 2012 Edition and click on  'roadbook') and studied the diagrams and it looks easy - well, comparatively easy - plus Steve's email assured us that it would be 'just a marathon' yet the people around him at CP2 are already through. (phone goes off - a panicky text from Blain) sorry Bee but I'm gonna reprint it here:  "Where is Steve?! Still waiting for him to pass CP3. Everyone around him is passing the check. This is so nerve racking!Xx" I called her up and we were on the phone a long time, navigating our way around the rocky website - once again she yells out "he's through CP3!" The low, low feeling one gets waiting for a number to change on the screen, the thoughts that go through one's mind, the perils that we can only envision are instantly evaporated when his number comes up 'through CP3'.  Then your heart feels like its gonna burst, alone in front of your pc at some ungodly hour you jump up, punch the air and yell out YESSSS!!!  Blain, sweetheart, welcome to my world.
In the excitement of the last half hour I forgot to mention that Steve got to CP1 in very good time, ditto CP2 and was set fair to post a good time, something must have happened between 2 and 3, his new running mate Gary Pickering also came in within a few seconds of Steve and listen to this,  Blain tells me that Gary is a real running machine so we surmised that there may have been a sandstorm or some other local problem.  Anyway, they're both through.  This is the point when one's mind begins to get active, you go to the leaderboard and see how long they are taking between (in today's case) CP3 and the finish line, you check down all those who have finished and work out a rough average.  Now you have expectations, a hook on which to hang your hope, like a teenager on a first date and now you know within 10 - 20 minutes when your man will come through; oh yeah, you'll be right there at the website - early - with the digital equivalent of a rolled up copy of The Times under your arm and wearing some entirely inappropriate hat or something, waiting (under the digital clock perhaps?) and hoping against hope that you won't be stood Steve would say,'sure!'  All you've done is set yourself up for a really rocky ride; those of you who know me will know that I am a born optimist, I like my glass to be half full all the time (or something like that) so I start my vigil a full 15 minutes before the earliest possible finish - big mistake!  I start to worry within the first five minutes and it gets steadily worse until the blessed relief that comes with the news that he's through.

2:40pm I am supposed to be picking up my wife from the hairdresser in a while, but by our calculations (Bee & I on the phone now, both watching the webcam at the finish line on our pcs) Steve should be coming thru in the next ten minutes - BINGO! - as we're talking I see him run up to the webcam, give a huge smile and raise his arms - I shout to Bee but her link with the webcam has dropped out and this time she's missed him.  I have to say here and now, he looked in fantastic shape and came thru about two minutes ahead of Gary P.  Relief for Bee however when his time comes up the board (click on the 'POSY' box for updates on the positions during the stage) - I make an unseemly hasty exit from the phone (sorry mate) rush off to get my missus and give her the news, (to be continued)...

4:20pm  Cont'd -  we then go food shopping (stay with me now...) and in our euphoria,  buy loads of treats and stuff we don't need, go figure.  Interestingly, Bee was not the only person who told me that they had difficulty in navigating the official website, I guess I have spent so much time just waiting that I have probably been all over it and seen most of the content.  I have to say that it is not that user friendly but it  kinda works, whaddayagonnado?

6:00pm Tomorrow is the final day, 6eme etape - 14 Avril: 15.5km.  My guess is that this final, short stage is like a faux stage.  It's very short so there will be no protracted vigil, there are some celebs or VIPs who will be allowed to cross the finish line and the whole thing will be like a celebration.  I will certainly be at my screen watching events unfold, I expect it will be spectacular.

Look, I know I keep banging on about the charity thing but in truth, this is really what all this is about; those runners are killing themselves for some wonderful and worthy causes and if that ain't enough, the good feeling you get after chipping in whatever you can is second to none, trust me on this one thing.

I a going to start dinner in a moment, if you're interested it's fish, so I am going to post this and chill; I've had some feedback and I am pleased to say it's all been good.

More news tomorrow folks, and thanks for staying with me - I feel that I know you all, see you in the morning.

Love Spencer :{

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