As is usual for race day, I wake up grumpy as hell and immediately text OGB to remind him that he is entirely responsible for all that is wrong with the world – he replies with something outrageously abusive.
A quick look back over previous race reports ought to be enough to remind me why I keep entering these torments, I start off moaning like Victor Meldrew and by the end I’m beaming from ear to ear as if I’m in love with the world. Of course it’s easy to be philosophical and upbeat while the endorphins are still coursing through the bloodstream.
I’m still a little grouchy in the starting pen so I fumble around with my garmin to take my mind off things and then have a last minute panic with my playlist. Last night I acquired 18 Joan Armatrading cd’s which I felt would be sufficient to see me to the finish regardless of how slowly I ran, but after the first couple of tracks I decided I’d made a big, depressing mistake so switched to the backup of “The Talented Mr Ripley” – an audiobook.
When the starter claxon goes off for my wave the garmin has flitted from the training screen and so ignores my start button pressing, approximately 400m later I get the thing ticking. This isn’t the last of my problems with the garmin though, at the first water station some guy dive bombs from a diagonal trajectory, swipes the bottle that I’m just about to close my palm around and presses the stop button on my watch. I would have liked to lob a few bottles in his direction but by the time I’d set the watch recording again he’d disappeared.
I think the route was exactly the same as the very first Nike Run London event we ever did, a swirly number around the Serpentine in Hyde Park. There is plenty of doubling back on yourself so for quite a long time you can see runners from earlier waves coming towards you, it’s quite unsettling seeing the pros, my god do they push hard! I spent some time hugging the edge trying to spot OGB but he was obviously lagging a little bit behind the big boys.
Talking of big boys, I was belly barged by a trio of inflated sumo wrestlers. They were running three-abreast and built up quite an intimidating crescendo of flapping air blubber.
By the 7k marker I was starting to feel the lurve, the race photos are going to look awful with me smiling like a gormless loon and for the last 2k I ended up with a flag in my hand which I proceeded to twirl like a helicopter til the end.
I finished in something like 78 mins which is probably my slowest 10k time but I’m happy with it as I was doubtful of breaking 80 mins before I started.
Great race bling and a smashing buzz as ever from the great run series.
The afternoon was spent drinking and wandering around outdoor shops in an attempt to buy essential camping gear for our Great North Swim adventure.