Monday, March 01, 2010


The South London 10k

Sunday league was cancelled again, although I had to admit Sunday league had a point this week. It had rained since Wednesday and was still bucketing down this morning.

Unwilling to let slip another chance to bomb about through muddy puddles (and mindful of forthcoming half marathon appointments), I went online yesterday and put myself in for the South London 10k: 10km round a circuit beginning and ending on Wimbledon common.

So, up I got at 7:00 and set off for Wimbledon, downing a huge bag of jelly babies for breakfast. When I burped five minutes later, my breath had a disconcerting petroleum twang.

The race organisers decided to skip the customary mass warm up, reasoning that more people would freeze to death than would warm their muscles correctly. Instead, they called competitors to the front in order of (self) predicted finishing time.

"First of all, could sub-40 minute runners make their way to the starting line," announced the MC. Nobody came forward. My spirits lifted somewhat.

The start turned out to be a total mad dash as half the field appeared determined to give the lie to the lack of sub-40 runners. I settled into an easy, loping pace and was therefore a bit disappointed to find myself feeling absolutely bloody knackered before I'd seen the 2km sign. A boyfriend / girlfriend team went past me as if I was standing still, chatting amiably, he with long, rangy stride, she with a jaunty bouncing ponytail which mirrored her running gait. I gnashed my teeth and thought machine guns.

From 2km onwards, there was a long, steep decline. This presumably meant there would be a corresponding incline at some point in the course as we were running a circuit. My jelly babies nestled stoically in the pit of my stomach.

Sure enough, the uphill came. An oriental-looking guy, sensibly clad in a bin liner, scooted airily past me.

The course levelled out as we went through halfway. I invented a motivational technique for the rest of my race: one point for anyone I overtook, one point off for anyone who came past me.

By now, some of the early Radcliffes were tiring. I reeled in a guy in a Man Utd shirt, who'd set off like a rat out of a trap. I hauled in a gaggle of students. I even picked off the oriental bin liner. Better still, nobody was overtaking me.

By my count, I was on fifteen points when I went past the 9km sign. I picked up my pace. Then, a minute and a half later, I passed another 9km sign. I refused to let this dampen my spirits.

The boyfriend / girlfriend combo had come back into sight. I gained ground on them when someone nearly ran them over. The lad then chivalrously sped off on his better half, hoping to catch the guy in front. I sped up, hoping to overtake his jilted partner.

I was a few yards down on ponytail as we switched from road to grass for the final stretch. At the beginning of the run-in was a huge, extremely deep puddle. Ponytail faltered, visibly baffled. I summoned up the energy for a big jump, called a cheery (not to mention insincere) apology over my shoulder and zoomed off to the finish, well pleased with my sixteen points.

The goody bag for the race consisted of a rubber ball and some sort of heat pack, which would need to be heated up. What there wasn't was a t-shirt, which was a bit of a shame. I had been operating on the presumption that there would be commemorative t-shirts and had hence neglected to pack a spare. The trip home was a little uncomfortable.

Two weeks now until the Silverstone half.


Disclaimer: I have never beaten up a girl with a kendo stick, unlike Super Steve.


It's a bloody good job there wasn't any anti-doping testing going on Dan, because I'm pretty sure those jelly babies would have provided a positive reading.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Listed on BlogShares