'You then stumble over to the results board as if expecting to see your name above Tyler Butterfield...' *Photo by Kageaki Smith
'You then stumble over to the results board as if expecting to see your name above Tyler Butterfield...' *Photo by Kageaki Smith

So here’s the deal…

You drag your ill-equipped body through 13.2 miles of undulating, unrelenting, unquestionably-tough Bermuda terrain.

You cross the finish line in a distressed whirlwind of arms and legs, no longer able to feel some crucial, or so you thought, parts of your feet.

You’re handed a medal and a cap — a terrible trade, incidentally — and greet other recent finishers with the most unintelligible conversation since Bruce Willis’ awful promotion of the latest Die Hard: A Harder Way to Die Harder, Hard (or whatever it’s called) film.

Fellow finisher: “Well done, how was it for you?”

You: *gasping for breath* “What…? *gulp* “Oh… great… I think… what?... where am I?... whatever… where’s the ******* Gatorade tent?... *collapse to floor*

You then stumble over to the results board as if expecting to see your name above Tyler Butterfield, only to find it’s not even above Great Granddad Butterfield who’s been running the event since 1952 and did it this year pushing his great granddaughter in a pushchair, one-handed, up Burnt House Hill.

You then make it back to your group of friends, compare injuries, and sunburn levels, lie down, and think of all those who said they’d come out to cheer you on — only to have blatantly stayed in bed watching re-runs of re-runs of the Big Bang Theory.

A ‘mate’ then says you looked on the verge of throwing up down the home straight before you politely ask him where the **** his running shoes are? You take a big mouthful of one of the sugary cupcakes provided and only THEN does it finally hit you.

What a great day, what a wonderful island and what a terrific achievement by the hundreds of runners.

Mind conquered body, the training with Colin Ayliffe’s Run Strong team paid off and you were able to justifiably wallow in an unsightly level of self-satisfaction for the rest of the day.

Well done to all who ran the half-marathon – and that includes the relay teams whose presence, particularly at the changeover points, only added to the atmosphere.

Whatever your goals or reasons for running, congratulations. I hope that, like I’ve just described, the pain eventually subsided into elation.

The crowds deserve plaudits too, even if some shout-outs didn’t quite fit my self-styled image of a Haile Gebrselassie-like figure gliding down Harbour Road.

Some examples: ‘Are you running or walking? (insulting); ‘looking fresh’ (lying); ‘number 100! You gonna live to 100 bie’ (inspiring); ‘almost there’ (at Barnes Corner, I kid you not); ‘pick up the pace white boy’ (I had); and ‘have a sponge’ (there is a God).

It may not have looked like it but all of the above were gratefully received and all helped get me — and hundreds of others — to the finish line.

Legs, not to mention heads, may still be sore but what a wonderful way to celebrate Bermuda Day.

• For more details on the Run Strong training programme email Colin Ayliffe at cayliffe@courthouse.bm.