The wind bites cold at my legs as I exit the warm cocoon of the car, I’m starting to think that it might have been a little early in the year for running in shorts.
I’m positive it’s too early in the day for shorts as I walk with Emmalisa3 up to the High St. The high buildings and narrow streets are funneling the cold air which strips away any body heat, shivering now we press onwards towards the start area.
Thankfully there is a good size crowd already there and the square is relatively sheltered, the coffee shop looks like it is doing a roaring trade. I mingle about trying to take in this bizarre scene, people of all ages colours and creed mingle with a common bond, a small white rectangle with a number upon it. I spy number 666 and almost go for a high-five but he looked as though he’d had enough of people interacting with him, shame, as that number along with 13 must be a giggle to run with (the closest I have had is 50013). Maybe he was at that precise moment lost with an important thought which gave him the outward appearance of being very stern, I hope it didn’t tarnish his day and that he did get to enjoy the run.
Announcements from the race director boomed over an appalling P.A. system and then I experienced my first ever pre-race warm up, I’m still not sure what it adds to the ‘experience’ apart from a chance to exhibit publically ones inability to co-ordinate step sequences in time to music, whilst trying to remember the next sequence as it is demonstrated by someone facing the other way round to you. Still it is now the norm before any ‘big’ race so get in there, enjoy it and remember to cheer and ‘whoop’ at the appropriate time, it is soon over, thankfully.
Being part of the Undercover Olympic Standard Class we headed for the back section of the start line, leaving the wafer thin barely dressed serious local runners to ‘toe the line’ one hand on their time pieces taut and ready for the gun. Our start was a more relaxed affair, consisting of a startled ‘oh we off are we’ as the mass of people in front of us break into a jog. It is interesting to note that the further back from the front of the race you get the more ‘clothing’ is being worn.
We made it into the papers! Well that is the pair of us in the background and out of focus sure, but it is us! The run was downhill through the city center then out alongside the river/canal and then back again, lovely route very flat, very fast and running on closed roads at the start, which is a strange experience, made all the more surreal by the faces of some thoroughly annoyed car drivers stuck in the jam it created. I’m sorry to say I laughed at the thought that we had ‘ruined’ there idea of a perfect morning wandering like lost souls around the shops.
Emma did well and exhibited an uncanny knack of always asking if the km marker was up soon 100-150 meters before each one, we took it steady and kept our rhythm all the way to 8km mark when Em went a bit wobbly trying to run and drink at the same time, we walked for a bit to recover then continued on, only in the last km did I need to prop her up every now and again, or run hand in hand. Her vision had gone by the 3km mark so I was talking her round the route when I needed and calling out for bike riders and other ‘non-racers’ that we had to avoid, but we got to 9km and then could hear the finish.
And that was that, we came in with a time of 01.11.06 684-685th out of 733 runners and had a blast. First ever ‘city’ run complete. It will not be the last I fear.