Now is the time to start breaking out the superlatives. For Melissa’s (@moosenshoes) epic #RunTheBoroughs challange for Crisis UK, the homeless charity. Okay, so I think we open this bag of awesome and drop how… excellent, magnificent, wonderful, glorious, marvellous, brilliant, and the greatest she has been over the last two days.
For those of us who ran with her, joining her for one, maybe two legs of her 32 borough journey were half hour companions, cheerleaders, and it was great to be involved.
Melissa’s “logistics team” updated us throughout the days, text messages came in telling us when to be at the rendezvous points, and then there was the Twitter feed and the hashtag #RunTheBoroughs, a great way to watch this amazing challenge unfold.
We were all cheering on as each borough was ticked off. Started with a Tweet, we were given facts along the way (who said running wasn’t educational) and then the finish pic with her merry band of runners.
And a lot of people wanted to help and support Melissa and her cause. Day one looked a lot like this.
Or it did for me at least.
My leg started where Haringey meets Camden at the top of Highgate High Street and a pub called the Tollgate. I was a little concerned as I waited as 1. it was hot, 2. I didn’t want to let Melissa down, 3. it was probably going to be the hilliest of the boroughs and I was very worried about Swain’s Lane of Pain and/Or West Hill.
After walking the route last week I had decided that running DOWN Swain’s Lane of Pain was more sensible. This is over 1KM and at the bottom is Hampstead Heath. We will have gentle ups and downs and then be able to join West Hill at the mid-point of the hill going back up to the finish. This way also gave us options to walk as there were bends, and points where it flattened out, so really only two small stretches of hill back up, and both with a walk-able section beforehand. I would probably keep this route if Melissa ever decides to undertake this epic journey again.
After 35KM on a blisteringly hot day we agreed this would be a gentle joggette and we took it at such a pace we could talk the whole way. If I was going to run for two days solid I would need to be chatting to people the whole way. It would be only way to stave off mental exhaustion. Something I learned very recently at RTTS.
And Melissa did amazingly well here. I wouldn’t have guessed she’d been on her feet all day. We ran down Swain’s Lane, onto Hampstead Heath bisecting Parliament Hil, then took the Hampstead Heath Park Run route through a welcome shady wooded area for a while, before a long downhill to the fishing lakes and then back up. A nice easy pace, 40 mins. Although I didn’t stop my watch and we had made it all the way to Tesco for liquids before I realised.
And then a walk to her next borough, and a meetup at Archway, but only after I received my super special Moosenshoes pin, something that will be added to my medal rack in the week, after a tweetup Wednesday, where we can all toast our hero who went on late into the night, finishing and spent in Southwark with Mr Moose.
Day Two and I knew Melissa had some great helpers out there, Mike and Ciara to name but two and support needed to be drummed up. Apparently this was all on Melissa, not the charity. This was her challenge. And, as day one finished her target of £700 was well beaten and the pot doubled to more than £1400.
We followed the hashtag through the day and into the night with the last one killing us all as it wasn’t updated for an age.
And when it finally was, and we knew she had safely finished her journey it as time to say well done to all the non-Tweeps who helped Melissa achieve here remarkable goal, and for those you need to follow on Twitter, well done to
@Blueeyedsoul13, @niccombe, @rbanksy, @andylolz, @ElissaMillhouse, @__Brigitte__, @runningmiker, the guys from @GoodGym, and @nickmurison def a #FF bunch of runners if ever I saw one.
And as for Melissa, as the pennies keep coming in, let me reopen the bag of superlatives and applaud how outstanding, dazzling, remarkable, formidable, fine, choice, sterling, first-rate, first-class, of the first order, premier, prime, unsurpassed, unequalled, unparalleled, unrivalled, unbeatable, peerless, singular, unique, you have been this weekend. Well done!