December 14th 2017
Today was our annual work Christmas hill run. At 11:28 this morning I decided that I didn’t want to do the run, but at 11:30 I was down there, dressed in a Christmas jumper and a Santa hat like the rest of them.
We did at last year and there was about 20 of us, but this year there was only 12. I’m sure if I was more religious I’d have a witty comment about why it was relevant that there was only 12 of us, but I don’t really understand Christmas enough to make the joke. 12 disciples? 12 days of advent? Tw-Elves in a grotto? Something along those lines. Fill in your own blanks, if you will.
The Hill™, to give it it’s official name, is a 10k run from the office up to the top of the highest hill in Gloucester (that last bit could well be incorrect, but it sounds good), and every year we do it in Christmas-appropriate attire. Santa suits, Santa hats, reindeer costumes, Santa sack with a boombox blasting Christmas songs, inappropriately-tight-and-aggressively-bright-luminescent-green-leggings, and Christmas jumpers — the lot!
As you can imagine, it’s fucking warm running up a 200m incline in a Christmas jumper. I felt bad for Santa Claus as well.
Perhaps it was because there was a bigger group of us, but last year we had a lot of ‘interaction’ from the cars on the road. Almost every car that went past our group would beep their horn or shout out their windows. Today though, we only got a couple of honks, which makes me worry that we didn’t look particularly out of the ordinary. It is Gloucester, after all.
The incline is tough on a good day, but after a week of snow — and as I was dressed in a Christmas jumper — it was particularly difficult today.
Nevertheless, we all made it up.
And, like the King’s men, we all ran back down again.
If anything, running back down is harder, due mainly to the constant and ever-present fear of death. When running down a hill that steep it’s very difficult to stop yourself. Even though I was wearing trail shoes, I almost ended up on my arse on more than one occasion.
The other tradition is that when you get to the final bit of the decline, you have to take the slide rather than the steps. That’s always fun:
Until tomorrow, and when they were only halfway up they were neither up nor down.