[Let me open with a disclaimer: The Grunty Fen 1/2 Marathon is one of the better organised and staged races I’ve ever been in and I would highly recommend it to anyone who was going to be in the area on race day. On the other hand, running in the pancake-flat fens can be oppressively boring under the best of conditions…so, don’t plan a trip around the race.]
The results are in and I am officially too slow to take racing seriously anymore. It was bound to happen, but if it prompts some (to me, anyway) amusing bile then I’m all for it. My time was 1h 35m 36s, and I was already a minute off my target pace at the halfway mark when this shot was snapped:
No stretching in the training regimen has left me with really tight hamstrings that pull both on my lower back and on my iliotibial band on my right knee and both of these developed shooting pains right after the above photo. Shit.
Well, acceptance that the pace could not be recovered would have allowed me to settle in and enjoy the rest of the morning’s trot through the roads near Wilburton and Stretham and through Wentworth and Witchford had it not been so gusty (with strong sustained winds) and had I not already blown through the beer check set up by the St. Radegund hashers (46 of whom were in the race, more than 1/10 of the entire field).
The biggest insult I usually notice in one of these events is the “finisher’s medal,” usually something that would pass for nice ghetto jewelry amongst severely brain damaged gangstas but items that I can’t bring myself to even really inspect until I’m safely home (finishing in the meaty part of the bell curve does that to your sense of self esteem). I would like to see more realistic medals handed out, broken up by the finishing times…something like these inscriptions:
1h 20m – 1h 30m: “Heh. You busted your balls for 6 months for this.”
1h 30m – 1h 40m: “You slow fuck. This is for blocking better runners for an hour and a half.”
1h 40m – 2h 00m: “Bless.” [note: the Brits have developed a transcendentally condescending manner of saying, “Bless,” that really must be heard to appreciate]
2h – DNF (everyone’s a winner!): “We all know what a fat ass you used to be, but Monday your colleagues are just being polite when they ask how it went.”