10°C, light SW wind, heavy rain subsiding to light.
It has been a winter of storms. So many have passed over this island, and more are jostling to do the same. There are so many that we could regard this as all one storm rather than a chain of individuals. The Met Office now gives them names, Imogen is on its way.
With the scene set, picture a muddy field in the Wirral, most of the grass is obscured by thick gravy like reddish mud. In this field is the venue for a schools inter county Cross Country race series.
I took the young lad (who, it turns out, did very well for his school).
I dropped him off, on time and then took off to move the car.
Most of the day saw me searching for him having missed the race. Meanwhile, the youngest groups ran first.
I picked a spot where I could be easily seen, and could easily watch the races go off.
The images remain in mind now, it reminded me of a horse race. Lean and lithe, these kids stood pale from the cold and high on adrenaline. All sinewy and with only one thing on their minds, their race.
The start gun, actually was the proper thing, and loud too. The kids stood on the line, straining for a clue that the gun was about to fire. The whites of their eyes were visible. They took the event seriously, and very seriously.
Soon, the trigger pulled, all set off across the acres of gloopy mud. The front runners remained fairly clean but the trailing ones soon picked up the sloppy mud kicked onto their legs and lower bodies as they shrank into the far edge of the field.
Later, they would finish, strung out with a hollow look on their faces. Some would wobble to a stop and vomit from the exertion.
All the while, others stretched and sprang up and down to prepare themselves. Or, maybe they were cold.
The weather didn’t let up.