Two weeks ago, Bees Alex and Sam took on the Southport 10k, in an effort to raise money for the Bumblebee Conservation Trust. This is their story…
The steel drum band started. The whistle went off. We don’t actually know if it was a whistle, the steel drum band was quite loud and we’d been running late so missed the safety talk, and were flustered. All we knew was that we were in a pen of runners-to-be, who promptly became confused. Then we understood; it was time. Sam & Alex commenced the running.
The first km was doable. A couple of people obviously thought “sod this, there’s a lot of us here, I’ll walk” and downed the pace after 20m. Alex & Sam were not those people. Those people had not been sponsored by friends of bees. They were not running in aid of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust. Unlike Alex & Sam.
At 2km, Sam Wench’s knees were still struggling. “My knees are struggling ” admitted Sam, because #realmen aren’t afraid to admit when their knees hurt. “Go on without me” said Sam, (Alex thought this was maybe somewhat sarcastic, as actually this slow-and-steady pace suited her very well, thank you very much), but Alex (somewhat heroically but also hilariously, without any slight hiss of snakey behaviour) responded “SAM, DON’T BE SILLY. We may not have signed up for Alderley Edge together [lol, soz, that was down to snakey behaviour] but we are going to get through this 10k together. I won’t leave you.” #Loyalty. Together, they continued.
It was just over 3km through the race. Alex was bored tbh. Sam’s knees hurt. A turning point was quite literally ahead for the Bees. Sam turned to Alex; “10k runners keep going straight here”. “Okay”, says Alex. Confusion shortly ensued. Sam, exhibiting extraordinary snakey intuition at 3.5km, had tried to send Alex off on the half marathon route. Hiss. At least the other 10k runner nearby found it funny… The course marshal corrected Alex just in time. Alex went full #Nibs and avowed revenge.
Alex, being a forward thinking sort, had brought headphones along. Sam hadn’t. Sam decided the two should listen to Sam’s favourite, most played songs to get them through. Almost immediately, the Spice Girls started playing. Naturally, Sam went full #SportySpice and serenaded Alex with the entire rendition, mid-run. Wannabe got these #WannaBees through to the 6km marker. Great stuff.
Not long before 7km, Alex and Sam saw ducks (“I bloody love ducks”, Alex had gasped, when they saw ducks) and were proceeding along the designated route. Alex was tired. Sam was being a bit too excitable and energetic for this far into a race (his knees had stopped hurting at around the 4.5k point). Sam, somewhat awkwardly decided to suggest that he and Alex “step it up” for the rest of the race. Alex didn’t particularly appreciate such a ridiculous suggestion, and politely let Sam know this.
Alex & Sam made it through 8km. As the sign for 9km neared, Sam looked across at Alex. “Shall we sprint finish?” He asked, clearly not realising how absurd this idea was. “I’d really rather not, my dear Sam Wench” replied Alex, definitely without swearing. Alex confirmed that Sam should indeed sprint away and try for a good time. Alex was quite happy to struggle on towards the finish on her own, and would see him at the finish line soon anyway.
Sam ran on. Alex isn’t entirely convinced the whole “oh my knees don’t work” story wasn’t just a ploy to lull Alex into a false state of security over the pair’s pace. Alex was very tired. Nevertheless, she persisted. Stepping up the final running pace just as much as she could, she soon noticed she could see Sam; slowing slightly in his brilliant efforts to sprint a finish. “GO ON SAM” bellowed Alex, in her freakishly loud shouty voice. Sam raised a hand, and raised his game.
Crossing the finish line, Sam had hit the time of 1:03:48. Alex, just over a minute later, crossed the line in 1:04:59.
Special thanks go to Christian Hadfield & Elliot Barker, who showed splendid swarmly support to Alex & Sam and generally made it a wonderful and thoroughly enjoyable day overall. Excellent cheer-bee-ding form from both, 10/10, would recommend.
If you’d like to donate to the Bees’ fundraising efforts, you can donate via their online fundraising page, which will remain live until Friday 21 July 2017.
A massive thanks to all who have donated already donated and helped us reach our target of £250! You’re all absolutely wonderful.