Christmas Pudding Dash
How many opportunities do you get to dress up like Santa or some other delightful Christmas themed fancy dress and splash your way through puddles and mud without being judged? Not many I’m guessing.
The Pudding Dash is a fun event held each year around the woods near Pett Village. Organised by the excellent Nice Work it’s well worth taking part in. Just don’t wear your new trainers.
Review by: Simon Linklater
Mud! I hate the stuff. It’s not so much the getting dirty that bothers me, it’s the deep cleaning operation required post race that does my nut in.
2 days of monsoon rainfall heightened my fears. As I lay awake at 1.30am with the Fritelli’s Chelsea Dagger still playing over and over in my head, I momentarily considered the option of switching off my alarm and boycotting the mudfest that await. But something stopped me and I’m glad it did.
Image courtesy of Lucy Brett @MrsBrett1066
I headed out in my Xmas onesie which attracted some strange looks from my neighbours. Santa hat and T-shirt, specially purchased for this event, were ready for their debut appearance. Not a glint of Orange in site.
Spikes? Nah. Trail shoes? Don’t be silly. I had a pair of worn down road shoes, far more fun trying to stay upright.
The start line was a sight to behold. In true Christmas spirit, those in attendance had made a fine effort and dressed to impress. An array of different santa outfits, elves and even Christmas puddings, lined up somewhat naively, unaware of the challenge that await.
As the race got underway it quickly became evident of the conditions underfoot, as those around let out shrieks of despair, as they slipped and stumbled their way down the muddy slope. I managed about 50 steps before sticking my size 14 loafers straight in a deep muddy puddle, soaking my shoes and my thermal socks. I’ve no idea why I wore thermal socks. Little good they were going to do. Nobhead.
Much to my surprise I started to enjoy myself. I wasn’t racing. I was just happy to stay upright. I offered my words of encouragement to those I passed. Naturally I took great pleasure from overtaking Berenice towards the end (but we won’t tell her that 🤫). I felt like a kid again, just running for the joy of it, with no concern about my splits or how far I had left.
There were hi 5s all round at the end with my fellow Hastings Runners, who once again turned out in force and did the club proud. The race was organised by Nice Work, who as always, did a stellar job, much appreciation for them and the volunteers in those conditions. The medal was a beauty too.
As for the post race cleaning operation. Sod it. I dumped my old trainers, along with the smelly thermal socks in the communal bin. Mostly because I was told that not all the puddles were rain water. Yuk!
Has this inspired to do more off road running? To embrace the muddy conditions? To run in the freezing rain and wind? Don’t be silly! I’m not an idiot.
Merry Christmas All!!