In an effort to become a proper runner, I have entered several (er, three) races since running the London Marathon. I ran the Dereham 10 in a decent time (for me) and was really looking forward to running the Humpty Dumpty 10k at Reedham, especially as it’s sponsored by the local brewery of the same name and promised a pint of it’s finest ale at the end. Since I didn’t get a pint of London Pride at the end of the London Marathon, that was incentive enough to enter this race. My last long training run had gone well and I was fully recovered from the Man Flu that had stolen a weeks training for this event. The runners knee I’d developed by running interval runs training for this race had quietened down, so all the signs were good. And it was a beautiful sunny day – what could go wrong?
OK, I’ll tell you – first, I forgot to take my traditional energy gel right before the start. Secondly, I forgot to pop a carb tablet into my mouth before we set off, which left my mouth drier than a 250 page report on car parks in the UK and thirdly, I started with the serious runners and set off too quickly with them in a burst of macho madness. This went well enough until the three kilometre point and it’s beautiful, beautiful water station, when all of my energy decided to go on holiday. I struggled on through the wind, heat and the hills (some slight, some not, but in my state, all cruel) but I was helped by the newly-arrived clouds occasionally masking the blazing sun with the gusty wind that brought them. By now, however, my face had become hotter than Christina Hendricks in swimwear. The remaining race was like something out of a desert war film starring me as the soldier in the middle of the Sahara, dragging his camel along and keeping his spirits alive by thinking about his sweetheart. Or in my case, the pint of Humpty Dumpty I was going to jump into when I staggered across the finish line. Finally, at 58 minutes and 33 seconds, my steaming, sweaty, delirious, hallucinating being did just that, four minutes over my PB. It was easily the hardest race I had ever run, mainly because of the heat. Mrs K said that everyone seemed done in as they crossed the finish and unfortunately that was proved to be the case for one runner who collapsed right before it.
As I met my family I was given my goody bag but no medal, but never mind, eh, as I did receive my quality race momento, a bar towel with ‘Humpty Dumpty 10k 2013’ emblazoned on it. Hmm. Heading for the t-shirt stand to get myself a proper souvenir, I was told they’d sold out of t-shirts in my size (I decided then that I would make my own t-shirt that said, “I ran the Humpty Dumpty 10k 2013 and all I got was this lousy bar towel”). Swallowing my t-shirt disappointment, I set off to the beer tent for my real prize, a pint of Humpty Dumpty’s finest ale. As I stood in the queue, my body quivering with anticipation (or it may have been cramp) I overheard the barman say they’d run out of beer. We couldn’t go into the village hall bar as we had our dog with us and as she wasn’t allowed on the grounds around the village hall, we left and celebrated in the Blofield McDonalds car park, after getting drive through.
Mo Farah, eat your heart out.