On Monday morning I happened to see a Facebook ad (possibly the first useful one ever) from the New Wolsey theatre, saying that Mark Simmons was there that evening with his ‘Quip off the the Mark’ show (a fact I’d somehow completely missed). There were a few tickets left, and even a cheap one all on its own in row D, so I went along and had an enjoyable (if antisocial) evening. I’ve been listening to his podcast about jokes that don’t work for a while, so it was good to see the ones that do (and one that has clearly been fixed), and to finally hear the punchline to a bit he’s mentioned a few times!
On Tuesday I left work just too late to avoid cycling home through one of the heaviest rainstorms I can remember, with puddles several inches deep competing with the stuff continuing to drop from the sky to see which could get me wetter (a pointless contest, given that it was physically impossible for me to be any wetter than I already was). The next morning, working at home, I took my laptop out of my (rather damp) rucksack, and was mildly concerned when its screen kept flickering, then it began to emit an unfamiliar beep every few seconds. Fortunately those issues went away after a while, presumably as it warmed up, but the power supply was refusing to work and took longer to dry out, and annoyingly all the old ones I had lying around were either too low wattage or for older models, so once the battery was flat I had to cycle into the office again (fortunately in better weather) to pick up a spare.
This weekend was the Round Norfolk Relay, which is basically what it sounds like. There were 59 clubs taking part, with the circumference of the county split into 17 stages, ranging from around 5½ to just under 20 miles in length. I’d foolishly told the people organising our team to put me down for anything, which meant I was landed with the longest one – 19.67 miles from Scole to Thetford. This was stage 12, which made for an odd Saturday: by the time I woke up our first runner was already underway, but I still had the whole day to fill, before being picked up by Steve at around 11.45pm to head up to my changeover point. Because it was a night stage, we each had to have a support car behind us with a flashing orange light, which must have looked quite strange to anyone driving up the A1066 in the early hours.
I set off at a reasonable pace, and the first half dozen or so miles went past quite pleasantly, but then it started getting progressively tougher as various bits of my legs began to protest. By the end I was running about a minute a mile slower (there were some long hills too!), but managed to drag myself to Thetford in 2:42:40 (compared to my very optimistic estimate/target of 2:35). I handed the baton over to Steve, swapping it for his car keys so I could get myself to the end of his stage for him to drive us home. There was a bit of chaos happening at the end of stage 13, with the stage afterward being cancelled at the last minute because the police had closed the road after a ram raid – it all seemed to be handled smoothly, but must have been a big disappointment for everyone who’d driven a long way in the early hours of the morning only to find they couldn’t run. I eventually got home at 7am, but my befuddled body clock only let me sleep until around 11.
The medals for the event were excellent, and each one was literally unique, as they had the stage details on one side and the team number and club logo on the other.