zondag 6 mei 2018

Great Peace Run

Start 12.45
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         On Sunday morning the first groups of walkers were passing my van. (There was a 10k and 21k walkroute that started any time you liked from 8am and the sensible folk were starting early to avoid the heat.) 
I cycled into town to see how things were going there, found where the start was exactly, made use of the free sunscreen lotion that was being provided. Then went back to basecamp to read some more, have my second breakfast and change into my running clothes. The start wasn't till 12.45. So at about 12 I cycled back again and chained my bike to a pole. 

Due to my prior knowledge of the geography of the town I could avoid the long queues at the portaloos and nip into the museum cafe instead. This meant that I arrived at the start just as they were removing the tape to let the runners through to the front, just behind the Menin Gate. There were no start waves so I enjoyed the novelty of being up front for a change. The dj was fair getting into the spirit of the war monument theme and was playing things like this. An Irish guy read McRae's poem 'In Flanders Fields'. (Dearie me, I usually get a bit choked up at the start of big races anyway - this nearly finished me off!) The starting gun was wielded by some Yorkshire man whose name I've forgotten but apparently he's the guy who organises the Great North Run. And then we were off. During the first 3 k or so I had my usual 'Why do I do this?' feeling as my lungs try to catch up with my overenthusiastic wee legs but then I settled into a steady rythm and realised that the heat wasn't bothering me that much really and that there was enough breeze and occasional shadow to make it all perfectly doable. 

We passed amongst other landmarks Hill 60 and Hill 62. The clue is in the names - but they were acceptably mild wee hilly bits, nothing like the ski slopes in the Ardennen last year. On the downhill bits I could overtake loads of folk - I feel if gravity is going to work with you you should take advantage of it if possible. 

Without really pushing myself (lots of warnings about not overdoing it in the heat beforehand) I got to the finish in a, for me, very respectable time of just under 2:22. To be honest if asked beforehand I would have said that I would have been happy just to finish inside the 3:15 time limit (whilst secretly hoping for inside 2:30) so this was definitely a bit of a triumph. 

Very nice medal, bottle of AA drink and a piece of gingerish cake (ontbijtkoek) at the end. There was also free Belgian beer and if I'd had more time I would have hung about and joined the queue and given my beer to someone else but I really wanted to get on the road home asap so cycled back to the van, pulled on my summer frock (must get one with poppies rather than sunflowers for next time...) and headed out of town. 

Really well-organised event in a town I know and like - I'm considering making this a yearly(ish) event. Possibly encouraging others who I think might enjoy it to come with me to do the walk event. 

Geen opmerkingen:

Een reactie posten