Over the past month, two notable things have happened in my journey to becoming a Pink Tractor Lady.
Firstly, my collection of pink paraphernalia has increased dramatically and secondly, I’ve made a concerted effort to seek out Pink Ladies to find out what taking part is really going to entail.
I’m as keen as mustard about the whole affair but, as I sat at home last month and started planning my tractor driving training schedule (yes, really!) I started to feel a bit like solitary newbie.
The whole ethos of the run is about the collectiveness of the women taking part, the event they create when they pull together and the astonishing fundraising feats they continue to achieve.
Whilst I know a handful of Pink Ladies already through my voluntary role as Press Officer with the group, I felt I needed to get out into the countryside and meet more of these inspiring women.
So that’s exactly what I did, I met one lady in her workplace, one at a metal detecting talk on a Wednesday night in a local village hall (I have high hopes of becoming a detectorist this year) and one over the phone.
And, they all had two things in common. Notably they were all utterly lovely souls – dedicated, passionate and heaps of fun – but most astonishingly they all offered me the same piece of advice for the day of the run – wear a sports bra, or two! What on earth was I in for?!
It got me thinking about the 20-mile route the run will take. I know there are plenty of farm tracks to negotiate and a section that involves speeding through a ford of water but one women told me to pay particular attention to the marshal who will be standing at the bottom of Shotford Road just outside Harleston.
‘When he waves you on and shouts go, go, go you’ve got to put your foot down and go, don’t think about anything else.’
I know Shotford Road, it’s a rather imposing hill which I’ve cycled down plenty of times – hitting the heady highs of 25 miles per hour – but I’ve always avoided cycling up it because of its sheer incline.
Here’s hoping I do just as the marshal says and I don’t slow down through sheer fear and neither does the woman in front of me – or in front of her.
Given this winter’s constant cold snaps the roads here in South Norfolk and north Suffolk have really taken a battering. Driving in a car can be hairy enough at the moment as you negotiate the ever increasing number of potholes but on a vintage tractor, one I hasten to add isn’t mine, the obstacles may seem even more daunting.
But, back to the sports bra – which seemed like even more of necessity now.
A week later I found myself in the lingerie department of trusty M&S eying up sports bras and silently thanking the advice of the women I’d met.
I look forward to meeting more of the women taking part – apparently we have some sort of get together before the big day – in what I hope will be an ever-expanding circle of new friends.
In the coming month I’ve made a plan to familiarise myself with the route, if the weather obliges and the landowners let me, I will hop on my bike and attempt to cycle the 20-mile circuit. I’ll be heading in the direction which takes me up Shotford Road – wish me luck!
Follow my journey @a_countrylife on Instagram.
The 2023 Pink Ladies Tractor Road Run takes place on Sunday July 2. For more information visit ladiestractorroadrun.co.uk