If I were The Overlord: Queen of the World, I would insist that every single race included disco tunnels, fairy lights, sexy cheering boys and lashings of gin. Someone at Nike HQ must have been making notes in my brain, because We Own The Night didn’t miss a trick.

Had it not been for the pre-race fun on Twitter and Instagram, admittedly the shitty weather might have persuaded me to stay in bed. But the runner girls of London were in an excitable mood. Having spent the day busily swapping race kit photos and chattering away online, I was thoroughly overexcited by the time I hit the park. As you can see by my race attire, I was ready for some serious running.


Running is a serious business

Despite the crappy weather the race village was laid out like a mini festival and it looked ace. After dropping my bag off and popping into the hospitality tent to catch up with my friends, I got involved with the warm-up, taken by the lovely Geoff Bagshaw from Equinox. Geoff is an excellent trainer, the sweetest man alive, and the perfect choice to lead the masses.

Although many of my girlfriends were taking part, I really wanted to just enjoy the night and not beast myself, so I chose my run buddies carefully. I was delighted to run with my friend Ruth Hooper, an old school Run Dem Crew girlfriend who has since relocated to Amsterdam to do cool things for Nike women, and my gorgeous lady friend Bangs.

Rhal and Ruthie

Rhal and Ruthie

We were lucky enough to sneak up to the front, and so cheered on by the dulcet tones of our MC the inimitable Charlie Dark, we set off. As with almost every race I’ve ever done, it’s impossible not to get sucked in and start too fast, which we did. But within five minutes of running, it was obvious this was basically my dream race, sent down from the heavens on unicorn horseback and served up on a glimmering bed of disco joy.

I used to live right by Victoria Park and did all my first marathon training around that little patch of green, but for one night only the park had undergone a glittering transformation. Concrete paths were replaced by illuminated disco tunnels (heaven), ginormous light up KM markers, and woods of glowing fluorescent mushrooms beneath a thousand twinkling stars.


Disco mushrooms in Victoria Park

Ordinarily I’m not wild about the concept of gender specific activities, but I get it now. There was an electric atmosphere of female solidarity throughout the night. It felt like all 10,000 runners were in it together as we ran through the magical disco wonderland.

Although the disco tunnels were arguably the most exciting thing I’ve ever had the pleasure to run through in my entire life, the best part of the race was definitely at 7K. The sexy boys from Run Dem Crew were out in full force to support their girls, and they did them proud. If you ever need a vocal pick me up, enter a race that includes an RDC cheer section. You could hear their supportive cheers echoing through the park for miles; those boys really know how to make a girl feel like pulling up her sequin hotpants and running for the stars.

I stole this off Instagram sorry about that

I stole this off Instagram sorry about that

Next up we ran past the discolicious Josey Rebelle who had her own private party booth and stopped off for a quick dance, before hot-footing it to the finish line. After two laps of the park which seemed to glide by in a sea of twinkly lights, we ran holding hands across the finish line to the cheering crowds, and I felt like Chaka Khan beneath a million twinkling disco stars in Studio 54 heaven.

After crossing the finish line we were handed our Alex Monroe finisher’s necklace, and headed off to the hospitality tent, where they fed us delicious wholefood, popcorn and lashings of gin. I then proceeded to get plastered in the company of sexy friends, and even got to meet the marathon champion of the world, the mighty Paula Radcliffe.


Disco Paula puts the Rad in Radcliffe

But before the close of the night, I had one more run to do. At about 10pm I realised, pissed as a fart, that I had forgotten to pick up my bag. The last leftover bag in the tent, I raced across the park and was greeted by my final finish line of the day, three little bag guys cheering me on so they could close the tent and go home. Luckily they didn’t seem remotely bothered about having to wait for an hour in the freezing cold for me to hurry up and collect my bag. Sorry dudes. You made my night.

The event was impeccably organised, everything looked beautiful, and I loved the course. I can’t fault We Own The Night; it was a perfectly organised slice of disco sex heaven. If I were Queen of the World, I would insist that all races were exactly like it and every week we’d all be forced to have a huge disco run with hugs and cheers and vats of gin. Minus the night bus home in gold sequin hotpants; that was a bit dodgy.

After showing the World Wide Web my bare naked bottom, I’m not sure I can top my last blog. I admit I was being deliberately facetious. I am well aware my nudist utopian vision of the future was slightly fanciful. Apart from breast and testicle support issues, which would seriously hinder recreational sporting activities, the seasonal nature of UK weather does make excessive nudity rather impractical. Especially for those of us lucky enough to live north of the border.

Now that winter is firmly on the horizon, I’m actually wearing twice as many clothes as usual and have no desire to be naked. I even have a hot water bottle tucked beneath my jumper as I type so that I don’t incur excessive daytime heating bills and piss my boyfriend off. It’s only October and I can see my breath. Being naked suddenly seems like a really bad idea. Oh how I miss those halcyon days… On the plus side, living in The Borders (AKA the knitwear mecca) I have easy access to cheap cashmere jumpers. Fluffy Mongolian goat’s wool on your skin is arguably the next best thing to being naked.

I am a robot

In my new winter mindset, this week I have mostly been thinking about gadgets. Running gadgets, cooking gadgets, texting gadgets and chicken coop gadgets. I’m a hippy and I want to run naked in the fields, while secretly relying heavily on modernity. I live in the wilderness and yet my life is suffused with technology. Ultraboy is a self-confessed ‘early adopter’ (gadget freak) and insists on having the very latest of everything. Consequently we own a microwave cooker that creates four-course meals in six minutes and cleans itself afterwards, a television the size of a small country and a chicken coop that automatically closes itself at dusk. And don’t get me started on the ridiculous amount of fancy equipment required to go out for a run. Despite technically living in the countryside, I am the commanding officer of a small but perfectly formed spaceship.

I have embraced modernity, but we have a love/hate relationship and sometimes I really fucking hate it. Especially smart phones; or Twitter to be more precise. Oh Twitter, the wonderful social media site which brought me true love, hourly inspirational philosophy, re-housed my wild cat Rocky with Bangs and Charlie Dark and enabled me to acquire two budget iPhones. Twitter you are my greatest friend and my loathsome enemy. I love you when I’m racing and you bring me motivation and encouragement, I cherish you when I’m lonely and you bring me cyber love. But I hate you when my boyfriend ignores me in favour of discussing minimalist footwear with you in minute detail late at night, and I absolutely loathe you when all my friends down south are clearly having a better time than me.

Like last weekend for example, when the Run Dem Crew all jetted off to Amsterdam to run marathons and party like mad, and I did not. Stupid Twitter, taunting me with your euphoric post-race tweets. I suppose I should be grateful, as I would not be here in this crazy, beautiful, technology-obsessed paradise if it wasn’t for you. But sometimes I secretly wish you’d just piss off and let me read a good book.

Alas the lure of the twinkly little bird button is strong and I find myself sneaking a look at you every damn day of my life. Especially as I work from home and my only companion is a small gang of quirky chickens, who don’t particularly care for human interaction, even in 140 characters, unless it involves a fistful of grain and a hasty exit.

Before emigrating to the wilderness, I thought country-life would involve log fires, permaculture and embracing survival basics. But it turns out I am incapable of rejecting modernity. In fact, out here in the hills I need it even more. I moved to the country to be a naked hippy and accidentally turned into a robot. I rely on the Internet heavily for human interaction and now I’ve grown used to a big sexy HD TV, I just don’t think I could ever return to my television-less life. Especially since there are considerably less people up here to distract me from X Factor.

However, in my bid to convince Ultraboy that my freelance career is an effective way to survive, until there’s frost on my laptop, I will continue to eschew central heating during the day. Thank God for running base layers. Two or three ultra tight wicking tops twinned with a fancy cashmere sweater and a hot water bottle make a workable solution. I look like a lunatic, but nobody can see me on Twitter. For all you know, I could still be tweeting naked.