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Middle-aged, middle-weight, mother of 3 on mad marathon mission
Middle-aged, middle-weight, mother of 3 on mad marathon mission
When I started this blog, it was to track my progress from an occasional kayaker to taking on the Devizes to Westminster non stop 125 race. Little did I know that would start me on a long distance obsession which has resulted in my completing the 30th Marathon des Sables. It has been a strange and sometimes painful ... but always wonderfully challenging journey

This is my occasional account of a middle-age mother's attempt to take on things which are really quite beyond her.

Me or the Bearded Lady of Guildford?

crawlingkiwiby crawlingkiwiFeb 20th 2011
I seem barely able to go out training these days, without someone stopping and taking a photograph of me. As I've seen the way I look when I come off the water, I know they are not moved to record an image of great beauty. The truth is a bit more prosaic, obviously they want to record the image of a mad-woman.

In the past couple of months I've been snapped while paddling, by at least 2 groups of Chinese students, some Japanese tourists and some average looking people wandering along the tow-path. On one paddle at dusk in thick ice with several inches of snow on the ground, an Eastern European couple actually made me wait at the lock while they posed next to us! This week, people were taking photos with flashes from a Guildford bridge when I paddled through.

On today's mammoth 25 mile paddle I was musing on why I was possibly featuring in various tourist photographs when my K2 partner suggested that perhaps it was a competition I was previously unaware of. As people post sightings of the Bearded Lady of Guildford and keep a log on a facebook page, perhaps I have become a (less hirsute) version of her? Is there somewhere a website dedicated to the madness of the middle-aged paddler in and around Guildford?

Well if so, be warned - I'm planning to start commuting to work by Kayak (Guildford to Addlestone) at least once a week and I might even do a sponsored home to work paddle (Godalming to Addlestone). So Bearded Lady of Guildford, game on. Let's see who gets more sightings...
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