Monday, 18 October 2004

calloo callay

If anything can be predicted with confidence, it's the weather in Great Yarmouth in October. Lashing winds, drizzle, big frowning horizon, minimum difference between sea and sky. How odd, then, that the sun should poke through as Sean and I reached the 3k point in this morning's Great Yarmouth Road Runners' Promenade 10k. Fortunately the sun soon thought better of it.

The official photographer was Marchamont. He, unfortunately, announced (to Sean's mum) shortly before the start of the race that running was boring and wanted to find some crabbers. There were no crabbers, but there was a fishing competition in town, and he discussed flat fish with a number of the competitors, and was allowed to handle a couple of flounders. He had a great time. This means, of course, that there were no photographs -- none except the one below, taken outside the GReat Yarmouth Promenade men's urinal, showing Sean and I looking limber.

My number was 103; Sean's as you can see was 303. Add them and you get 436. Line 436 of Beowulf reads: “I hereby renounce sword and the shelter of the broad shield" or something like that. Could it be a coincidence?

Up and down the promenade twice, and we were given a really cheap looking medal. Unfortunately -- again -- Marchamont and Sean's mum were off speaking to competitive fishermen, in possession of the car keys, so Sean and I had to run another five or so miles looking for them along the sea front in the lashing rain before we could retrieve our warm clothes.

Oh, I ran a 41:30, faster than I'd intended (you'll remember the miserable 43:50 in Cardiff six weeks ago). Sean forgot to look at his watch in the adrenalin rush.


Wednesday, 6 October 2004

Lost again

Good people,

I have lost another race. This time a marathon, but not for want of pace at the finishing line. The event was in Cardiff on Sunday 3 Oct 04, with Hurricane Ivan predicted to make landfall just as we reached the tip of the Severn Barage. As it was the weather was fine (i.e. coolish and damp) but for the last six miles, when it rained a little too much. And the course was mostly attractive, taking in not only the barrage but the castle keep and the millennium stadium.

We -- that's me and Sean M, my hoary pacer -- ran a very solid, conservative perhaps, run, with a nice negative split over the two halves and a fast 10k at the end. This meant that we passed people consistently for the second half, and looked good. At least on the outside. I could have done it faster, it seems, but I'm new to these things, and was too timid to push it until mile no. 23. At which point I'd hit approximately 3:11 and had therefore kissed goodbye to my target time of 3:30. Still, there's nothing quite like running a string of 7'20"s when you've 22 already under your belt, and ending up in the millennium stadium still feeling strong. In case you're wondering I am well, entirely vertical, and even if my quads are a little sore I ran a good 7.7 mi this morning, at fractionally under marathon pace.

Official data:
JR's race time: 3:34.47
average pace c. 8'11"
pace at finish line: 4'34" (!)
position: 273

c. 1200 entrants in full marathon; 828 completed
fastest time: 2:09.10; fastest time not in a wheelchair: 2:28.33 (second was 8 mins slower)

Thank you all for your continuing tolerance.