Rushing around the house trying to find a lost receipt is not the best way to spend your time when you should have left five minutes earlier for your 9am race. I had woken up at 5.45am, but still managed to find myself in a fluster trying to get out of the door, not a good start. It didn’t help that the race starts at The Hub in Regent’s Park and is not a quick spot to reach from any tube stop, so I knew I would have a bit of a walk at the other end. Eventually, we got on the tube and I tackled the timing tag I had been sent, a sort of strip of plastic with a metal bit that you loop through your laces and then get funny looks as people notice the big red thing sticking out of your shoe.
When we reached the park, Hector and Edward set off to the playground and to find good bike riding spots (steep hills for Hector to go ‘weeeeeeee!’ down) and I made my way over to the The Hub. As I neared the playing fields I saw a couple of marshalls so asked them what time it was ‘Nine o’clock’ said the man ‘so you’d better hurry!’. Damn it, I was going to miss the start. I started to run. I could see lots of runners milling around, so realised it hadn’t yet started, but I still wanted to get there on time. It turns out the marshall was being ‘funny’ and it was only five to nine when I got to the start. Oh, how I laughed. Fortunately the start was delayed further for me to get my breath back due to the postal strike – lots of runners hadn’t received their number or tag, so it all had to be sorted out there and then.
It was a beautiful morning with golden sunshine and still, crisp air. Perfect running weather. I was glad the wind had eased, didn’t fancy struggling into that. And we were off. It is a three lap race and I enjoyed this aspect, I think I’m deciding all races should include laps, such fun. As I tackled the first lap I realised we were heading towards the playground and was delighted to hear big cheers of ‘Go Mummy!’ and little squeals from Hector – the boys don’t normally come to races, so this was a new, and rather lovely, experience for me. I was feeling good, running strong. One particularly interesting part of the race was where we ran alongside the zoo, I saw sheep mainly but could hear all the animals starting their day with various strange noises and grunts. At one point I was puzzled by a grunting noise, trying to place the animal, but I soon realised as it came closer that it was in fact a fellow runner who must have been on his final lap and definitely in it to win it. Those fast types really do push themselves and the resulting sounds are quite something!
My own final lap felt more challenging, I started to flag a bit, but was boosted again by Hector sitting in a dry fountain, shouting ‘I’m having a bath!’ As I approached the finish, I picked up the pace down the last little incline and decided I would run past the woman ahead of me. I laughed as she realised what I was doing and decided to put up a fight ‘You sneaked up on me!’ she said.
Time: 56 minutes 53 seconds
Distance: 6.28 miles
Average Pace: 9.04
Best Pace: 6.46
After the race I collected my banana and went to find the boys at The Hub. I was really pleased when I bumped into Paddy, our old trainer who used to motivate us to get moving a few years ago. He had over-taken me during the race and I had wondered for a moment if it was him. It seems he does the series every year; he’s hardcore.
And here are the stats for my run around the park on Saturday. Boy was it windy?! I really struggled and it seemed to make my asthma rear it’s head, not nice.
Time: 29 minutes 11 seconds
Distance: 3.02 miles
Average Pace: 9.39
Best Pace: 6.35
So, that’s four Octoberthon days completed. Still no takers in the challenge though…