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Sunday 26 August 2012

Not Even Usain Bolt

Today is actually a glorious day, nothing like a Bank Holiday weekend and it’s a good day for a run as we head up to the YMCA Leisure Centre in Fleetwood. L grabs our numbers, whilst I find somewhere shady to park the boys.

The race route starts off very dull and boring, as we meander through a housing estate or two, heading roughly in the direction of Blackpool. Which is good, because with nothing to look at, I can concentrate on the run.

The course consists of two differing loops and as we complete the housing estate tour we turn and head back to Fleetwood, along the sea front road. We pass the 11 and 12 mile markers but we’re only approaching the half way point. Then they turn us left before we reach the Leisure Centre and onto the Esplanade pointing us again towards Blackpool.

Now it’s more scenic and dare I say it enjoyable. There is a slight headwind along the Esplanade but nothing to be too concerned about and, sadly, not enough to noticeably propel us home again after we turn for home. This turn comes after a short out and back, that enabled you to size up those just ahead and pick a few targets. An old man with a limp, a guy who looks about twelve, a banana and a girl in an impossibly brief pair of shorts were my disparate selection.

Then it’s the repeat of those last two miles, which I like, as it gives me a nice cosy feeling to be on familiar territory. I reel in 50% of my targets, although sadly not the lightweight racing banana nor, even more sadly, the girl in the impossibly brief pair of shorts, who both prove elusive. e.g. too fast. Aided no doubt by a course that has been mega-flat throughout, so despite aiming for 1:45, I do 1:42. Which is very satisfying, as is whipping past the man with the limp and the twelve year old.

It could have been better... as someone shouts to me to sprint to break 1:42 as the clock clicks over 1:41:55... 56... 57... with thirty metres to go. Hmmm. Who do they think I am? Usain Bolt? Even Usain Bolt couldn’t run thirty metres in three seconds, especially not after running a half marathon. 1:42:08 is fine with me.

Then I am handed a medal (ugh), a banana (ugh) and a Wagon Wheel (ugh ugh). Shouldn’t complain really. I simply cannot face food at a time like this anyway but to be fair to Wagon Wheels, I’ve never been able to face them full stop. They tell us to only take one each, this isn’t a problem. There’s also a guy handing out promotional sachets of recovery drink, which I do make use of.

I’m sort of surprised not to see L waiting for me. She’s injured but not injured enough to admit the full details to me. She had threatened to jog round to the 10K mark and then stop at the ice cream van. Can’t see her in the queue though.

Overall it was a good event. Lots of water out on the course, in bottles as well and nice small bottles at that. Which I powered myself round with, along with three energy gels. Excellent weather and a good all round vibe to the event.

A vibe that is aided by a very pleasant sea front cafe selling tea and bacon cobs. Which is a good way to start a refuelling operation, which is continued with a beer on the way back to Caton and then a meal outside the Ship in the village later that evening.

(Sunday 26th August)

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