Santa run & carolling

So this weekend was the big one for me, after not much training at all (no really I went down with the flueyest of flu’s when I was supposed to be practicing running, I wasnt even playing football, yes it was that bad). I did what any normal person would do on a Sunday morning, got up at 8am dressed myself as a santa and then joined housemate Dave and 1, 000 other crazy people running round the centre of Oxford dressed as Santa (I’ve got to say each and every single one of them had a slightly crazed look in their eye…). The course marshalls as you would expect were dressed as elves and the good people of Oxford had turned out in force to wish us well and cheer us on. Before the race started the DJ’s from Jack FM put us through our paces with a quick warm up (it bore quite a strong resemblance to the YMCA but was needed, although the sun was out (thank goodness would have been miserable if it had been raining) it was still pretty cold). Quote of the morning had to be ‘come on santas get your beards on, they aren’t chest warmers you know’ quite (I could see why quite a few people were taking theirs off, running in a beard, a fake one I must stress, is more difficult than you think!).

Team T and F (my work team who you can sponsor here all made it round safely. I had agreed to meet Dave after the race and he was pressing me for what time I thought I would finish in (he wanted to get home). I said I thought I’d def be done in 45 mins (Dave did it in 12 mins last year and as I am significantly slower than him at seemingly everything I thought I’d err on the side of caution). I needent have worried however as I finished in the quite respectable time of 23 mins (imagine if I had done some training! Next year hopefully). We got back home and congratulated ourselves heartily (well Dave did, I grabbed a quick cup of tea then shot off to show all our neightbours my amazing outfit).

After a quick change (and because there really is no rest for the wicked) I grabbed by new on loan viola James and headed out for a spot of carol singing round Oxford. I was one of only three musicians the other two being Chris Sreeves (who I met on the folk course & who’s idea it was) and one of my pupils Steph. We had six carols arranged by Chris and a run of pubs to visit (Chris had organised it the week before so we didn’t have to waste time seeking permission or anything like that). Our 5 was made up with Emily (who works for BBOWT and who I first met whilst volunteering) and Ellie who had spotted our plea for singers and had come along not knowing any of us (that is the spirit) by the second pub (and thanks to a warming drink in the first) the gang had bonded nicely and I think it;s fair to say the performances got better as the evening went on (and more pubs were visited/more alcohol was consumed. Steph has a photo somewhere (taken on her phone) but I fear that may not do the evening justice. We visited 7 pubs during out evening and raised £103 for the NSPCC, special thanks must go to my merry/mad minstrels and also all the pubs we were lucky enough to visit (special mention must go to the Bear who provided us with drinks on the house for entertaining their patrons). Next year we plan to build on our sucess but with a bigger party or carollers/carols, different charity and more pubs!

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