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Friday 11 May 2012

Taking The Plunge

It’s the Notts 10 race this evening, otherwise known as a forgettable number of loops around Holme Pierrepont rowing strip. It always feels like about five laps but is really only two. L has already entered and now having survived Helsinki I decide to take the plunge as well.

The Notts 10 has traditionally been ran on a Friday evening but last year it moved to a Sunday because of the lack of evening light and increasingly rigorous Health & Safety regulations. E.g. they were worried that someone would still be out there come dusk and would take the plunge more literally, into the rowing strip.

So I’m not sure why it’s back on a Friday this year but I’m glad it is. We had planned to bus/run/walk there and then pub crawl our way back home but those Health & Safety regulations seem to have bit back because they have now moved the start time from 7:30 to 6:55. Now I can’t really see how I can get there early enough to register without driving, so the car it is.

This is a sort of a bonus for the boys who now get to come with us, if only to loiter in the car park. We park at the back of the car park so as not to have the boys disturbed. It’s nicely away from the course and away from most other people, so that they won’t be tempted to bark/howl etc.

This is not a popular decision with one of only two other cars at the back of the car park. The guy in the passenger seat scowls at me, as does the girl who is sat on his lap. Sorry guys, don’t stop on our account. The boys will avert their gaze.

In his email the organiser promised us light nights, good weather and that the T shirts will not be orange like last year. Personally I quite liked last year’s T-shirt but they’ve moved the start to guarantee the light and the weather is good, if a little windy.

L meanwhile has promised me plenty of Finnish style blonde ponytails but without the multiple layers of clothing they sported in Helsinki. She’s right, everybody is wearing less than your average Fin, and it looks like there may even be the odd off-the-shoulder running vest. If only I can keep up with them.

I can’t. They all leave me for dead at the start as I stick to a steady but sensible pace.

The run goes ok actually and I gradually get in to it. I manage to run in a nice sized group for the first six miles but they all gradually drop off the pace. So I must have been doing alright. Then half way around the lake, on the second lap, I make my apologies to the only chap still with me as I up my pace a little. He grumbles something which could have been an obscenity, an apology or just pain, perhaps all three.

The problem then is that I end up on my own, all lonely, as I can’t seem to catch up anyone ahead. Then at 7.5 miles I’m caught by a panting blonde, which is always nice. That is until they dump you, which is exactly what I expect this one to do and sail off into the distance. She doesn’t though. In fact she seems thankful that she’d caught me. She should have said, if I’d know I’d have stopped and waited for her.

Her presence spurs me and is particularly welcome, as she arrived just as I was beginning to flag. We catch people up and scythe through the field together, sort of. The only downside is she wants to chat. I can’t do that. I can’t talk and run. So she talks, I nod. Then at 9.5 miles, she dumps me and sails off into the distance. I feel so used.

Still I need to thank her, my time of 1:14 is only a minute off last year, so that’s very pleasing considering my injury problems. L is quick as well and runs 1:37, a PB.

We head back to the car and the boys. The first car has now gone but has been replaced by another, it’s two occupants locked together at the mouth. It’s disappointing when they opt to move their car across to the other side of the car park, clearly worried we’re going to upstage them.

We head home instead, where we order a takeout curry, which comes all the way from Beeston because our local is offering a 90 minute wait for delivery. It’s good but not as good as our usual.

(Friday 11th May)

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