Thursday, 17 January 2013
Just as I was attempting to 'get into the zone' (aka get changed into my running gear) for my latest cross country race, I get a call from my bank telling me my card has been used fraudulently.
Right at the time when I should be warming up, I'm heading to the start line in a fluster with the phone wedged to my ear, shoes tucked under one arm, race number in hand and fumbling in my pocket to find my wallet. I belatedly manage to get the bank off the phone, get my shoes on, try to straighten myself out and I release I've lost my Oyster card! Guessing it must have fallen out of my pocket while I was on the phone, I warm up by retracing my steps, but to no avail.
Don't think about how you are going to get home, get to the start line. We're off!
We shot off down the tow path along the side of the Thames, passing Teddington lock, before two laps of a field and back down the tow path to the finish.
The race quickly settled into different pace groups up and down the field and there wasn't as much over taking as last week. I settled into a pack with a couple of other runners from Kent going at a pretty steady pace. I'm not sure if last week was a particularly good course, but I found this one quite annoying with quite a few twists and turns, tree routes, tarmac (not good when you are wearing spikes) and mud. At one point someone in front of me fell over, but I was able to avoid them without stabbing them with my spikes.
On the first lap there was one section of the course that had a lot of standing water and we were splashing through ankle deep water for about twenty meters. By the time of the second lap the river had burst it's banks and we had to run through a lake with the river running into us. The stretch of water was now about fifty minutes long and up to the middle of our shins and completely FREEZING! The cold water seemed to drain most runners and a group of six to eight slowed down in front of me. With a comical high knee arms pumping action I managed to keep up my momentum and over take them. They were the only people I managed to over take in the whole race.
As we headed to the finish I tried in vain to make up the gap to the group in front of me, but they were picking up the pace too and it proved a vain attempt. I did manage to hold off everyone behind me which was good.
I ran the 8.5km course in 33min 25sec. The data from my watch is here.
The official results haven't been published online, but I think I came 95th outside of the scoring positions.