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Sunday 12 October 2014

The Peterborough Thing

So, the Peterborough thing. We head down the A1 for a half marathon that I’m barely fit enough to run. Actually scrub the barely but I’m still giving it a go.

First problem is parking, which we had pre-booked but it still ended up being a free for all. Somehow they manage to slot us in a pre-booked section although I’ll be blocking people in if I don’t get a shift on with my run.

Having parked, the start is very close on the nearby Embankment. My next decision is how much compression stuff to wear. I opt for two calf guards on my extremely dodgy right leg and one on my not quite so dodgy left leg. Then compression socks on top.

The start pens are in parallel with each other, which is different. They are also very narrow, which is also different. However despite causing quite a bit of confusion, it seems to work well. The narrow pens mean that it takes longer than usual to cross the start line but meant that everyone was nicely spread out from the off and of course your time is handled by your chip.

The route takes us through the centre of town (Nottingham take note) before, I think, visiting every housing estate in Peterborough. This doesn’t make for the greatest of scenery but that is counteracted by the amazing crowds who only have to step outside their front doors to give us a cheer and they do so in large numbers (again Nottingham take note). Great local support, everywhere.

My multiple layers of calf support largely hold things together although I wouldn’t pretend I was running anywhere near freely. Things only get really grim, as regards calf pain, over the last three miles.

At the end they hand me a slightly dull technical t-shirt and medal for finishing. I finish in 1:49, not bad in the circumstances.

The aim of this run was, originally, as a warm up to Leicester in two weeks’ time. I now have until midnight to enter that event before the price practically doubles. I contemplate this as we sit in the White Lion in Beeston that evening. This is a new pub for us and we are here as it’s recently been done up and the rumour is it has Old Peculiar on. Well the hand pump is certainly there but it isn’t on, despite the fact they haven’t turned the clip around. They do though have a decent substitute in a dark ale from Caledonian called Trojan Horse at 5.5%. Very nice and it’s probably a mistake that we move onto sample what is on at the Star and the Last Post as we never quite hit those heights again.

As for Leicester... I don’t think I’ll bother.

(Sunday 12th October)

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