This post inaugurates a bit of backlogged blogging which I have needed to get off my chest and onto the world wide web for some time now. Journey back with me, friends, to Sunday, 12 October 2008. This was the day I ran my first international 10k.
I had this race on my race-dar (that’s race-radar) for some time, but it wasn’t until the night before, around 11:00pm, that I decided to go for it. I had been training to run a marathon on my birthday the following week – a marathon which, it turns out, I could not register for – so I was feeling pretty strong. I thought, I can tackle 6.2 miles. No sweat. But sweat there would be.
The race was run (get it? Run?) by the Rotary Club of
There was, however, one teensy problem with this race: how to get to the starting line. Sure, Blenheim was a mere nine miles from my Crick Road home…but as there was no coach (bus) running early enough to have me there by 10:00am on that Sunday morning, I would have to find alternate transportation. And at the last minute. After deciding that I probably should not RUN the nine miles there, only to race another six and round off the day with a grand total of 24 miles, Jonathan Kirkpatrick, JD extraordinaire, suggested I borrow a bike.
The bike I decided to use was a seafoam green affair with a rusted wire basket attached to plastic handlebars and a seat patched together with duct tape. I gave it a rickety test ride down
Dawn broke cold and foggy, and I left the house in my racing clothes, with keys and the ten-pound entry fee in the teeny pocket of my running shorts. Although I had a vague idea where this Palace was, I had never been there before – but I began my bumpy nine mile journey with a heart full of hope and a belly full of complex carbohydrates. 45 minutes and two wrong turns later, I found myself at the gates of
Perhaps it was my pre-race nine-mile bike ride, combined with my breakfast of Scottish porridge oats, that helped me get a 10k P.R. of 49 minutes. Or maybe the English cheat on their kilometer measurements. Either way, my beautiful run through the fog and the hills over crunchy red leaves up the path to the Palace was one of the most exhilarating experiences of my time in