Race Review: Movember Battersea 5K 2015


There have been only two races that I have run every year, without fail, since taking up the sport in 2012. The first was my first, the BUPA London 10K and I am already signed up for the 2016 event, and look forward to my 5th medal. Mainly because they have been getting better every year.

Westminster Mile included
The other, and one where medals haven’t actually changed in the last two and I know that tradition is being kept for this year, are the MOVEMBER races.
MOVEMBER is the male cancer awareness movement and their races are held across the country in the month of November and I run it every year partly because it is an amazing cause, partly because I can switch between venues (Greenwich or Battersea), partly because you get to dress up, but mostly because it was the first race I ran with a group. This was before I was active on Twitter and part of the #ukrunchat community, and I have happy memories of the day despite me running with a heavy leg brace, as was injured in 2012, and Corky’s calves going so badly he had to limp to the pub.
2012 Vintage
2012 and 2013 I ran in Greenwich, with me ninjaing the second year despite wearing my RUNNING SUCKS tee for the only time in public. Last year I ran in Battesea for a 50/50 split reason. 1. Greenwich is hilly while Battersea is flat as a pancake and 2. It is only a 5K. (Does the happiness dance)
I have, as you will all know too well, been injured since Berlin. I have run thrice in 7 weeks and that includes a slow Parkrun. This is/was/shall be my comeback. All I want is to make it around in one piece, no injuries. Hang the time. I just want to not hurt at the end of it.
I do like Tom Hardy. He is a good actor. I wouldn’t say he is the best actor in the world, I am not in the position to make such a call, but what I know is that he makes movies I like to watch. As an homage to the man I have put together a costume based on his movie Bronson, where the epinimous central character sports a fine set of moustaches and in one scene is dressed like this.

I have also been expanding in size since injured. The timing coinciding with mince pie season and I have been eating like I am going to the chair. Suffice to say, I may well have ballooned out enough to look a lil like that, just not with the bald head.

I have been raising a lot of money this year for Pancreatic Cancer UK and Parkinsons (£3000 or there abouts) and I couldn’t ask friends and family to dip once more into their pockets this late in the year so I did something different. I decided that each of the three months leading up to November I would choose a RTer at random and pay for their race entry. And so the four members of Team Knees are @FlamingCopper @Gemboc1 and @Baltav, along with yours truly, racing in three cities across the country.

Barry and I were signed up to run the Battersea 5K, my first race since attending physio and an osteopath for a knee injury that has sidelined me pretty much since Berlin. I limped around as tail runner at Parkrun, and haven’t run it since, I was in pain for the whole of Petts Wood 10K and for half of the Cambridge Town and Gown I limped. Today was going to be a test, to see how my knee would hold up.
Channelling my inner Bronson
It is a run I have completed before, several times, most recently in August and it would show how much fitness I had lost since Berlin.
Badly. In short I did pretty badly. It started badly when my stupid Nike+ GPS watch would not get a signal. Even though it was fully charged, even though it was in London, even though I did what Nike tell you to do and connect it to a computer beforehand to get it synching. Hence there will be no Nike map of my run. This effectively made it a naked run, as I had no frame of reference for how I was doing other than the KM markers. 
My knee was holding out, which I was glad of but the fitness, oh my, I was taken back to the earliest runs in my running life. I couldn’t get my stride right, the music was not loud enough to drown out my wheezing and I felt fat and out of shape, which is actually how I am at the moment.
I grinned and tried to enjoy it. This was the first race back after a lay off and all I needed to do was finish. I walked a bit on the second lap between KM 3 and 4 as I had cramp and shin spints because I could not get my stride pattern right. I was not landing on my right foot correctly as I didn’t want to aggravate my knee.
So huffing and puffing, sweating and in pain I ran to the line, only for my moustache to blow off my face in the wind at the end on the final straight.
And in the end…
This was very slow for me. It was a good 5 minutes slower than normal. But hey! I did it, and I will run Tuesday on the next steps along the road to recovery.
Is it the same as every year? No. No. Not at all. There is a blue outline to the wording.
Only one person recognised my costume, the Nike+ did not connect and so I had to run blind, my tache flew off on the home straight and I felt terribly out of condition. BUT!!!! I did run, and my knee did not hurt. It only felt a little twangy. As you scroll up you will remember me saying “All I want is to make it around in one piece, no injuries. Hang the time. I just want to not hurt at the end of it.” Well, guess what?
Would I recommend running a Movember Mo Run? Of course.
Would I run it again? Yes! I have unfinished business.
The Wimbledon 10K

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