15/12/2012

The Twickenham 10K Race Recap…

This was a mistake for me in so many ways, and I am a little humbled, and a little cautious, and more reflective and mindful of others as I write this.

Sometime in December, I can’t remember when, a discussion about races in the office somehow ended with a little smack talking and ending with Caroline, a gazelle-like semi-pro tri-athlete, setting down the challenge of running the Twickenham 10K. This would be on the 9th December, a week after the Kingston 10K, and my third 10 in a row after Movember. She just qualified for the European Tri tour next year, I am a fat hobbit. I believed this race could be summed up as follows:

Also, and not an excuse, coming into this I wasn’t feeling good at all. My right foot was suffering from PF and my left shin was inexplicably bruised in a spot in the middle where it meets the calf. It was also tempting fate, given how wonderful the small Kingston 10K had been the previous week. But anyway…

Twickenham, for those who do not know, is the home of English rugby, and is actually just the other side of the River Thames to Richmond and Kingston. In fact there is a small crossover on the course in the most southern part, where you run in the east side of the river on the tow path.

And so to the race. I was fortunate enough to talk to the race coordinator, Graeme of Lap Challenge, in the week and secure my spot and he was genuinely concerned about the extra medals (as the race number swelled in the final week by 20%) arriving, and asked for more volunteers to marshal the event but when I arrived at the start/finish at the White Swan pub this was not the same race as the week before, despite the same number of runners and cost. I also got to choose my lucky number 72, which I think is a very nice option for people running small races.

The First Bridge we cross

The chip timing was offered by EMIT but rather than the simple strip that wraps around your laces, or small timing chip you attach with twist ties, these were hunky, chunky wrist worn monsters that looked as if they were the kind of locators you would use on a prisoner when under house arrest.

Me in the blue on the right watching rowers go by

There were also a few celebrities, including my favourite newsreader Sophie Raworth, who was looking mighty fit in her running kit.

So we had all we wanted, a race, and a route that made us all believe that this was going to be a muddy one.

I decided from the off that I was in no way, shape or form going to challenge Caroline, so kept back before starting in a wheezy, hard underfoot clomp.

I walked far too much too much. My foot and shin were not good, and there was no way on earth I was ever going to give Caroline the race she wanted and this was a little demotivating for me. As was the lack of marshals, open course, the lack of bananas (joked that it was one between two, like books at school), and the worst of all…

After running the final bit of the race (see above) I crossed the line to see people walking away looking a little tired, a little thankful, and quite perturbed. When getting water I found out second and third hand that Graeme’s bag had been stolen during the race and someone had stolen all the medals! I was furious, I got my back and left. But as I waited for my bag I had an interesting conversation with a girl from Dorking (Becky Clay) who was a new runner and was planning a lot of the same races as me. She said that when she ran the British 10 she was given a medal at the end and in her goodie bag there three more. She also said she was given 2 in similar fashion at the Great North run. So maybe this was karma, and we should all blame her. LOL!

This is what the medal should have looked like on my wall

And it even made the local press. Although that doesn’t make me feel any happier.

http://www.richmondandtwickenhamtimes.co.uk/news/10098782.Thief_steals_hundreds_of_charity_run_gongs/


My time was an acceptable 59:46

Which does mean that the last 2 races of the year, in new shoes, and with walking I broke the hour for 10K. When I first started running in March this was always my dream. Of course Caroline ran the race in 52 mins and that has now become my new target for the 10K.

And so to the final word: I wrote a particularly scathing review of the race last time that was unfair and accusatory. One should write in the heat of the moment, as the passion is there, but always take a pause and then review before publishing as you may, as I did, regret some of the things said. I did not like the race for several reasons, the lack of bananas (not enough), water (not enough), signage (only a marker every 2K), marshals (not enough) but the main being the loss of the medals. This was no ones fault and the lowlife who stole the bag probably threw them in the river, a bin, or they are sitting under the rock he/she lives under never to be seen again. As I have mentioned before; I do not always see a progression in time, or in how I run, and, as I am plodding along, I know that no matter what happens I will get that reward at the end of the race. With that gone, I was a very bitter pill to take, but it motivated me. Boy, did it motivate me.

In the end I bought myself a little token, had it engraved with Twickenham 10K and the date, and it is hanging with the others as a place holder until I am less bitter, or the actual medals turn up. We can but hope.

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