My view of Santathon
The fit ones run it, but the slow ones just wonder along.
Yes 5k does seem a long way and just walking the course on a normal day is tiring, but this Santa Sunday you are surrounded by Santas, Mrs Santas, little Santas and doggy Santas, plus a few (very) odd elves, so the walk does not seem too daunting, plus you cannot let all the others down.
Now family and friends doubt your ability, so in the last few weeks you have been telling them to `put their money where their mouths are` (I did that the first time as I was still at work and ended up with over £900. I never got near that again, they learnt the hard way).
That sponsorship form is looking good and the figure on the Just Giving page is flashing at you like a Beacon.
So it's line up time, you sung carols at the reception, you have done your warm up on the pitch and you are thinking, this is sure going to confuse the local kids when these Santas `hit the road.`
The horn sounds and out of the ground you go with everybody screaming and shouting and the locals cheering you on. You turn left and are soon at Oxlow Lane with all those Santas streaming along in front and behind, and you think, hey, I`m actually doing it.
And they are off!
Down Oxlow Lane with car horns beeping and passer-bys shouting `go on Santa` and before you realise it, you have turned into the Heathway. A laugh and a joke with a few passing Santas and then you think, I`m approaching Reede Road and I am over half-way there, and the spirits surge.
You turn into Reede Road to more car horns cheering and are soon at Hunters Hall Road where the spirits take a bit of a bashing as the marshalls direct you off to the left but then a few 100 yards later you right turn and you can see the football ground.
So you think to yourself, I can do this! Then it's a quick right and a left and back to Reede Road and you start thinking, I never realised that Reede Road was such a steep slope, but despite the chest heaving a bit , your mind's eye keeps seeing all that lovely sponsorship money.
The Pipe Major comes into view and you think, not much Longer, I can do this and by now the fast runners are coming back with MEDALS and giving you a cheerful wave, a quick left turn and soon Victoria Road comes into view and you think, at worst I can crawl on my hands and knees over that finishing line.
A proud Bob with his medal!
Then suddenly the Dagenham and Redbridge Football sign is passing over your head, then a smiling face shouts your number out and a lady sticks a medal in your hand.
This is your OLYMPIC GOLD and never has somebody deserved it more.
You see loads of red and white suits and you think to yourself, my brothers, sisters and I have earned `bragging rights for the next few days!
The Santathon is over, now you need to get that money in and send it off.
A few months later as the winter blues set in, an envelope pops through the door, its says, Thanks from Saint Francis Hospice. Here is your certificate, and wonderful memories of a December Sunday come flooding back and your mind goes, might try that aging next year!