London Heathside 5 race update
I’ve never been to Finsbury Park sober before. I’ve only ever been to see bands there and know where the bands play, not where people run. So armed with my map of the park I set off in the direction of where I think the start is. After a while I see a girl dressed in running gear also looking at a map so I run over to her and say are you as lost as I am? She says yes, but the marshall said it was this way, so we carry on walking up the path and get to a main road. I say I don’t think it’s this far. We look at the map again and decide we’ve walked round to the other side of the park and see a man jogging down the path wearing a race number and ask him if he knows where the start line is. He says yes, it’s down there, you should see an orange line on the ground. We say we just walked from there, we didn’t see anything. He says you were probably a bit early. We walk back down and see some runners standing about and with only 5 minutes to go I stuff my fleece in my new rucksack that I’ve brought out for a practice run and turn on my Garmin. My Garmin still hasn’t picked up a signal when the starting gun goes off and I think bugger, I can’t run without my Garmin to tell me how much longer I’ve got to go but it gets a signal after about a minute. Yah.
My new rucksack is rubbing my neck so much I think I’m either going to get my neck sawn off or it’s going to look like I’ve got a lovebite, neither scenario being particularly appealing, so after a mile and a half, I stop and get my fleece out and put it on and aaah, relief, now my rucksack is comfy and fits better and I continue on my run but no one told me someone had broken into the park overnight and planted a hill. Bastards. I have to stop again and walk up the hill. Then I have to stop again and get my water bottle out. Then I stopped again and got my water bottle out. Then I stopped again and got my water bottle out and ran with it thinking why didn’t I just do that in the first place? Duh.
The marshalls weren’t as bouncy and happy clappy as the ones from last week but that was probably because they were mostly in their 50s, not their 20s, but they did start to smile on my third lap, probably because they thought to themselves thank fuck she’s almost finished, I can go home now.
When I got to the hill on the third and final lap I was determined to not stop and walk it but to run – however slowly – up it, but I failed miserably and walked up it again. I got to the final stretch and the marshall said only 400m to go and I thought yay but, fuck me, that 400m must be the longest 400m I’ve ever done, I almost had to stop and walk again. Might as well have done a sponsored bloody walk the way I ran today.
But despite the rain, my rucksack trying to kill me, my thirst getting the better of me and that bastard hill, I still enjoyed this run far more than last week’s race. Got a better t-shirt than last week too, here it is:
So I went off with my new t-shirt and asked a man if he knew which way was Finsbury Park tube station. He said that’s where I’m going, I think it’s that way. I said oh, I thought it was the other way, I’ll follow you then. He said have you just done the run? I said yes, have you? He said yes, how did you do? I said I think I came last. He said nooooo, you won’t have been last, there’s always someone behind you. I said but someone has to be last and I think this time it was me. We chatted on our way to the tube and then he gave me his phone number. Heh, result 😉
Total time: 53:57
Average pace: 10:52 minute/mile
Total calories: 438
Rucksacks trying to kill me: 1
Phone numbers: 1
Belle and Sebastian – Sleep The Clock Around
Catatonia – Londinium
The Cult – Rise
Daisy Chainsaw – Natural Man
Dandy Warhols – Everyday Should Be A Holiday
Divine Comedy – Becoming More Like Alfie
Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster – Chicken
Elysian Fields – Bend Your Mind
Franz Ferdinand & Scissor Sisters – Suffragette City