Sunday, 20 January 2013

A 10k and a pint

The snowy weather has put many things off course in the past few days..but we runners are a hardy bunch, and need only the glimmer of a possibility of a run to declare that all is well. And so it was with the Stubbington 10k, a well-known course for local speedsters, with only 100m of climb during the race (limited to 2 sharp inclines) and a mostly traffic free, pretty and well marshalled course. As well as excellent facilities, plenty of portaloos and lovely home basked cakes afterwards at a staggeringly good value 30p, you could hardly ask for more. A really great event...which, in the dark days of last week, we whispered 'might it be cancelled?' We waited patiently...

However the good news rang out at 1pm yesterday, and so, this morning, slightly trepidatious about the journey down to Lee on Solent, I sallied forth into the cold and quiet morning on the M27, hardly a soul to be seen. I'd be lying if I didn't admit that the commencement of the falling of the powdery stuff did dampen the soul a bit...and I started to worry that I was, in fact, barking mad to do this. On arrival all such worries were banished as the MAMILS (Middle-Aged Men In Lycra - several layers today of course) streamed towards the Community Centre. Warming up was bloody cold, and the legs scarcely kicked into gear after 15 mins of jogs and short sprints. Penguin-like we huddled on the start line, and then the off! Once I had worked my way past a few out-of-place lopers, it was time to put the gas down, which I did until the short hill at 8km just knocked the wind out of my sails a bit and forced me to trim down a bit and go into 'sustain position' mode.

They say that short distance runners hurt and long distance runners suffer, and you can usually be good at one or the other. I am sufferer, so this is what I can do - hang on when I ought to stop!

The end was in sight, a short sprint, and 39:48 on the clock. Under 40 mins, a very respectable performance given the lack of any specific training. Smiles all round, hands shaken, backs slapped, general bonhomie and an all round sense of delight at having partaken in this piece of mass madness (well over 1000 runners I'd say) and survived!

With a spring in my stride, I headed for home, and with lunch, a bottle of the perennially excellent Ringwood Old Thumper - 5.6%, a dark, malty, sweetish beer. Think of a crackling fireside, a cold night in a dark, stone-built pub somewhere on Exmoor - and this is your perfect match. Yummy. Always have to limit myself to one, though, as 2 means nothing else gets done for the rest of the day (no Blog posts for sure!)

A great marker for the year ahead, both in running and beerish terms.

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