Juneathon being over and all that, my weary legs were demanding both rest after 130 odd miles since Monday and fluid where I constantly seem to be dehydrated. JB, however, had other ideas. Despite coming home and finding her lounging in the conservatory and hoping for a relaxing evening, she said she wanted to do the local 5k race which we’d been agreed on doing all June.
A local 5k after work seemed a good idea; just not on my weary June addled legs. I was all for a rest.
Still, she won and off we went. Arriving early, we hesitated before entering since we were among only a few runners but by 6.30 the ranks had swelled enough for us to think we might not come a shameful last and laster. These local 5k’s have a habit of being fast with a capital F. The Rye summer series last year had winners around 15 minutes. F fast.
Still, as time wore on, the 2 junior runners did their lap to much applause before we assembled for the off. And as predicted, some super fast boys were crowding the front ready to go. And they went. The start was hard to pace. Weary legs (not excuse finding, just stating soreness!) and downhill starts are odd and 5k isn’t a race distance I’ve done before (except in a santa suit). I just ran freely. The field thinned out and I was among 4 runners feeling comfortable. Two of the group fell off around half way and I was left following a gent who was half a pace slower for a few yards, only to open the gap before I could pull alongside. I couldn’t find a rhythm to pass him and checking my Garmin showed I was happy with the pace, so I continued to follow.
Around 2.5 miles I got a silly little stitch (same distance in as in the Hamstreet 10k, oddly enough) but with half a mile to go I couldn’t let it stop me. A quick joke with the bloke in front, a question from him as to whether I fancied a sprint (my answer was if he was ready now, he should go since I was fading and stitching!) and an upping of pace from him that I couldn’t match saw me alone for the final couple of hundred metres which made a sprint finish difficult to say the least.
I felt I’d done my best, though and settled for a medal and a banana and a wait for JB to come over the line.
A chat with a few other finishers revealed a junior who’d finished in 17 minutes (my own time was 20.44) and a winner around the 15 minute mark. He looked ridiculous during the race – massive strides, fast tempo, simply crazy. Overall it seemed a nicely organised run in a nice setting, local and reasonably well represented from club runners to first timers.
Cathy finished well, overtaking a girl on the final park bit and everything, even if she couldn’t hear my shouts of encouragement over her i-pod. And upon finishing, she asked should we leave when I said they were about to do the prizes and since we’ve only seen one prize creremony we might as well hang around.
After the first three home were awarded their bottles and the first 3 ladies were honoured in the same way, something odd happened.
The winners name of the over 40 category was…Shaun Burgess. Who?! I looked around suspiciously. The race director looked at me. I looked around again. He looked at me again and called me forward.
Oops. I seem to have won my age category at a race. Only a small local race, but look.
How shocked am I?
So 130 cycling miles, no rest, no food, work and an inpromptu race and all of a sudden I’m excited and all sorts.
Small race it may be; not a scintillating time, maybe; best old-ish bloke on the day it certainly is.
iliketocount…minor category minor race winner.
YAY! I’ve got to climb down from my excitable perch and relax, eat and sleep now. While trying to stop JB quaffing my winnings before I’ve looked at it a bit more!
486.33 miles to go.