Deflowered in Bristol …

Lots of healthy, bouncy, shiny, energetic people are popping up with running stories at the moment. Heroic tales of pavements pounded, toenails lost, ligaments pulled and walls hit. Well, I’m not that type. And this is emphatically NOT a running story, so don’t worry about that. You don’t have to pull your tummy in when you’re reading this blog.

But I did take part in a half marathon power walk this time last year in Bristol. The Sunwalk – raising money for breast cancer charities. This is the less-gruelling relation of the Playtex Moonwalk and, like it’s London-based, night-time, full-marathon sibling, demands that all participants (both men and women) wear a decorated bra for the duration. Yes, that’s right. A decorated bra.

I walked with a team of about a dozen friends. We sort of trained together, but not very assiduously. Quite often, training took the form of a wander along the tramway as far as the pub but I reckon that talking and laughing while you’re walking increases the intensity of the exercise. And, dear Lord, at talking and laughing we’re world-class.

Now, walking 13 miles isn’t that much of a stretch, but in terms of ability and fitness, I was very much the middle of the pack. Some of the team are hardened runners – not me, though. Not bloody likely. How, then, did I come to finish first in my group, and by quite a large margin?

Rewind to the bit about decorated bras. Now, despite the fact that I was educated by nuns, I’m really not that gifted with the needle. In fact, I’ve been known to turn up hems using staples and the one time I sewed my daughter’s Brownie badges on her sash, people commented what a good idea it was to let her do it herself. (She was eight.). I’d sooner throw out a shirt than sew on a button. Sorry, Sister Berchmanns, but that’s the way it is. All your efforts were in vain.

Anyway, the team decided on a Hawaiian theme. Grass skirt, flowers in hair, and little fabric flowers to be sewn – yes, sewn onto bra. Problem. I could see staples probably weren’t a good idea this time, and blu-tak simply wouldn’t do, so I went along to a haberdashers (we still have those in Stratford) and bought some fabric glue. Problem solved. My bra was resplendant. I was good to go.

But one thing I hadn’t counted on was rain. Oh, and sweat too. And the effect of damp on fabric glue.

Well, I’m sure you can imagine. By halfway round the course, autumn had come early and my bra was rapidly defoliating. A little trail of fabric flowers bedecked the pavement behind me and i was now, basically, walking the streets in my (damp and therefore transparent) smalls.

It’s amazing, you know, the burst of speed that walking around a major city with your tits out can bring. I zoomed past the other contestants. I was a blur of speed – at least I bloody well hope i was because there were quite a few gentlemen (who didn’t especially look as though they had a big interest in sporting achievement) taking photos and videos along the way. (I know – eeeew.) Basically, the faster I got round that course, the sooner I could get back to my car and get a t-shirt on.

And that, my dears, is how I came to walk the half marathon in the fastest time of my team. I can’t say i’d recommend it, but if you’re trying to shave a few minutes off here and there, it might be worth a try. I’ve got half a bottle of fabric glue I won’t be using again if anyone wants to have a go.


(p.s. thanks to cronznet for vastly improved title)


17 thoughts on “Deflowered in Bristol …

  1. I was going to say “Imagine how much faster yo would of done it if you were actually topless”, but then I thought since this is the first comment I have left on your blog I should really just congratulate you for your charity walk, so er… “Well done”

  2. Great story!!
    I’ve got a similar one except that I was not running but swimming, in Florida, with an alligator behind me following me an inch behind my frantically moving feet.
    Gosh was I an athlete all of a sudden.

  3. This is sooo much better than lost toenails and blown knees! Hey, whatever the inspiration run (ahem) with it.
    Bennett–so did the gator get your bra or merely deflower you?

  4. mr x i suspect that if you’d searched youtube for ‘mature ladies in underwear’ last year you’d have found some of the footage those blokes were filming along the route!
    james welcome and – yes – good point. perhaps i’d have been more aerodynamic too, like those swimmers that shave their heads. i must suggest it to the organisers next year.
    bennett oh – i can just picture it! poor little you. you’d have made a very tasty snack, i’m sure.
    flutter it was absolutely brilliant! and if you go to the walkthewalk site there are loads more pictures. it’s a great atmosphere.
    cronznet quite! i’ve never been one for masochism. i really missed a pun there though, didn’t i – ‘deflowered in bristol’ would have made a far snapper title (i might change it now!)
    hbm what – you mean the event? yeah – fantastic. the moonwalk’s too much for me though – full marathon through the streets of london starting at about midnight (in decorated bras, natch). i’m told you get real bodyrhythm problems. mind you – at least you wouldn’t get sunburn, like we did
    superz welcome. yes – any excuse at all!

  5. I knew I found a soul sista…
    I, too, am impossible when it comes to needle and thread…
    And I only wish there was a photograph of the blur that would be you as you crossed the finish line… With the damp foliage swirling all around you!!! A picture perfect finish line I would say…

  6. Looks like I shall just have to act like I beleive the charity walk story then RG darling. You should have yourself a friday night out in Newcastle, all those charity fundraisers you’ll meet there….

  7. Staples!! What do you think safety pins are for!

    Going off-piste here, I couldn’t think why you *WOULD* Jeremy Vine, until I looked him up and realised I had been confusing him with Jeremy Bowen. And Christopher Lee! Hmm – am I going to pun on ‘rave from the grave’ or ‘COUNTing the days’?

    Nah. He’s really something, though.

  8. Nipguards? Good God. In all the years I spent being forced to run miles round the school grounds, I never once got a chafed nipple. Is this some weird older person’s problem (I haven’t run a centimetre in the 17 years since I left the Undear Old Place)?

  9. cronz what a discovery! someone who loves cheeeezy puns as much as i do.
    steve so it was you, hiding in that bush with your telephoto sticking out?
    pen there is some photographic evidence (apart from that mr kane is holding), but i ain’t posting it!
    rilly busted! any excuse to get me tits out…
    mango (yummers) jeremy bowen – ooh lala! what is it with media jeremys, btw? paxman – so would! christopher lee was very tall – i was very bashful.
    moobs oooh – i love it when you talk dirty!
    ben i am a gurl – and therefore have real proper nipples (look, i’m not going to get into a discussion about them here – just take my word for it). i am not, however, a proper runner so my nippular area has, thankfully, remained chafe free. moobs is a proper runner and a proper bloke – i can only bow to his expertise.

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