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Sunday 18 September 2011

Tearful Goodbyes

D-Day arrives but first the Notts 5. I can see the anguish on L’s face as she wrestles with the fact that her injury has flared up again and she’s going to have to give this one a miss.

In a rare show of family unity and on her last day in Nottingham for a while, Daughter comes along to support. Which is really nice, I’m not actually sure she’s been to support me before.

The Notts 5 is usually run on a midweek evening in July but this year it was cancelled because the usual course could not be used due to the flood defence works on the Embankment. Yet to keep the race alive they belatedly and hurriedly arranged this Sunday morning version on a new course which starts just shy of the Embankment at The Ferry Inn in Wilford.

The route heads over Wilford Toll Bridge then turns right along the Embankment before crossing the suspension bridge and heading back along the other side of the river path past The Emmanuel School back to the start. Well that’s the route you should do, if you’re the chap ahead of me you carry straight on under the suspension bridge heading for Trent Bridge. Somebody clearly hasn’t listened to the briefing. Although to the fair (well fairer) there should have been a marshal there. All the marshals seemed to be in the wrong places.

I shout him back. I didn’t have to do that but I’m a nice person generally. It still enables me to overtake him, which is more a curse than a blessing as I now have him wheezing along just behind me which is immensely irritating. Eventually he wheezes past me and wheezes a breathless ‘thank you’ in my ear. You’re welcome.

So that’s lap one. Then we do it all again, only this time we do head up onto Trent Bridge rather than crossing over at suspension bridge. I’ve no idea whether Mr Wheezer gets it right this time or not because I’m back ahead of him by now and pulling away from his wheezing but I assume he simply followed me.

This all means that lap two is slightly longer than the first but course wise that is basically that. Hardly an exciting route, mainly flat and straight bar a couple of sharp turns on and off the bridges but not too horrible either. Unless you have a blister on the bottom of your foot of course, which I have. Something I acquired yesterday but it’s amazing how easily you forget about these things once the red mist of competition comes down or you have someone wheezing loudly behind you.

Talking of which, as we approach the finish he is catching me again but I hold on.

I had my mind set on a sub-33 which meant 6:30 miles but my legs were set on a different agenda. Perhaps one influenced by a couple of drinks last night and a Chinese. So although the first two miles are on target, the last three aren’t, but 33:53 isn’t bad.

Only 59 runners is a fairly poor turnout for the race, although it was short notice and there are a lot of races on this weekend. The t-shirt was disappointing too, the same as when I last did this race four years ago.

Then it’s time to load up the car with all of Daughter's worldly possessions (although leaving far too much junk behind for my liking) and Daughter, to head north, as she flees the nest. It’s nice sunshine in Nottingham as we leave but it starts raining as we cross the Yorkshire border. It’s grim up north as they say.

When we find her accommodation, Daughter doesn’t seem overly impressed. I think she was expecting something nicer. A bit like the Ritz and in a posh area. We think it’s actually very nice, very studenty, in a very studenty area. Very appropriate.

I setup her computer, well our computer, as hers expired last week or rather I would if I had the power cable and didn’t have a PS2 mouse and no PS2 sockets. Hmmm. Problem. We off head into Sheffield city centre and find a Tandy to buy replacements. An annoying extra expense but still cheaper and quicker than fetching the bits from Nottingham.

Then just as I’m trying to sort the internet out we get evicted, thrown out, Daughter is off down the off licence with her new flatmates. The very same flatmates she swore she’d have nothing in common with. Alcohol, as ever, is a great common ground. So little chance for a tearful goodbye then or to cartwheel down the street.

(Sunday 18th September)

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