I was not overly enamoured by the Spitfire 10K last year. I did not like the nasty North London road route. I did like the start and finish in the museum, and the medal, well, the medal was superb. I received a lot of positive feedback for it and am sure that is why the #UKRUNCHAT crowd are racing Colindale and Cosford this time around. So with people travelling and racing because, potentially, of me I HAD to sign up.
The Vest Debacle
What a load of old rubbish this was. I wore a RAF Benevolent Fund vest last year. Colin and Emma are both supporters of our armed forces, and in particular the RAF, and wanted to race in their vests but in the small print on the race it stated that “The RAF Museum is a registered charity, which means we are bound by Charity Law, under this law we are unable to allow fundraising for other charities or charitable causes on our premises.” This upset EVERYONE! People run races for their own chosen charity. I ran for the RAF Benevolent Fund, as do a lot of people. It seemed very unfair. It was not as if people were running with buckets raising cash. This was the end of July and, seeing as wonder twins Colin and Keith had spent a lot on the race, hotel, trains, and Emma and El from #UKRUNCHAT were on their way to London, with hotels and trains too, I started to feel bad as I had advertised the race, and angry that the museum were not entering into the spirit of things. It took many weeks of silence before, mid-August, when Colin was emailed again and was told that they were, in fact, allowed to wear what they want. Thanks for the pain, the anguish and the palaver RAF Museum. When I advertise the race, if I do after this time, I shall hasten to mention this.
The Costume Dilemma
A lot of people dressed up last time, from Land Girls to pilots, to even planes. A Japanese pilot uniform, dare I say kamikaze, gave me an idea. Who was the greatest flying ace of the first world war? You can’t think of anyone from the Allies so you have to go with the Red Baron, and so I put together a Red Baron costume. I thought it looked quite good, not sure about running in the spiked helmet though. However, the consensus, from family, friends and online was that perhaps it went too far. My argument that he was a Gentleman Flyer, and well respected on both sides, and NOT a Nazi as that would have been the second world war went on deaf ears and so my Red Baron idea was shot down sans parachute.
So I had to come up with an option, and in fact came up with two. I now had a red tutu (or Desmond) thanks to Von Richthoffen, and so I made use of that and the RAF Red Arrows Names on a Plane website to get one outfit, and then, as I had two huge mustaches to use, went Biggles too and put it to the vote.
Biggles won. But it did mean I had a spare red Desmond, that Welsh rarebit El could then have for her race.
This was last year’s route, I am thinking it will be the same. I am not sure what the M means, maybe we should be humming airplane noises.
Ginger, Ginger, I have Harry Hun hanging on my tail, shake him off, will you?
So how did we do? Joined by Sarah from Twitter, and with Emma’s other half Oliver rushing ahead, the rest of the squadron fell into formation and decided early to run with Emma using a Run/Walk strategy. This was actually pretty nice. Also, it was nice to be listened to. Last year the race started inside the hanger and people (me included) had no signal for our watches. Because of this complaint the people at Nice Work decided to start us outside. Yay!
We kept a very steady pace, and chatted the whole way around for a very comfortable 10K on a quite warm Saturday. It was the same route as before, starting behind the museum, looping twice around the block, no hills, crossing roads with marshals stopping traffic, a single water table at the museum entrance, then back around again before circling the museum in it’s grounds and running to the finish. No cameraman there, which was disappointing. Would have liked that. Esp as we did airplane wings to finish.
Last year’s bling was epic. It truly was. We were quite concerned, or rather, I was quite concerned that people had signed up for the race on the premise they would get the same awesome medal as last year. That was sadly not the case and, seeing as I have one anyway, I was glad it was good and different to it. Here it is. Bespoke, two Spitfires. Very nice. “Tidy” as the Welsh say.
And here I am melting at the end with Red Arrow and recipient of my red tutu, Ellie.
How did I do? This was a slow training run in the heat with the girls. I was actually happy with the walk/run strategy as I have a LSR planned for the next day.
Would I recommend it? I am still not convinced with the road part of the race. But everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, so I would say sure, run it at least once.
Would I run it again? If the right crowd was around sure, why not?
The Bacchus Half Marathon
Denbie Wine Estate, Dorking