Grumpy Middle Aged Men Run The Egdon Easy
Posted on: 30 May 2014
Just about the first act on joining the Egdon Heath Harriers a year or so back was to volunteer to marshal at the club's Egdon Easy run. So I felt I really should run it this year (last Saturday evening). Coming just two weeks after the 10k in Oxford, this was another chance to prove that my sub-50 minutes was no fluke and to maybe improve my PB again.
(thanks to Paul Beare for photography)
The Egdon Easy re-uses much of the route of the Weymouth parkrun before heading off for two laps (one short and one long) of the Lodmoor RSPB reserve. It is predominantly flat, with a combination of gravel paths and tarmac paths and roads. After quite a wet day, it had stopped raining and was pleasantly cool as we set off from the Lodmoor car park.
My plan was to try and run at a slightly faster pace than I managed at Oxford. But (surprise surprise) I set off even faster, somewhere around 4:35 mins / km, feeling good, with plenty of others to drag me around. But as the field thinned out, as we headed off for the second (longer) lap it was, of course, starting to get tougher, and I was slowing down. And I started to ask the usual questions of myself. “Why are you putting yourself through this? You could slow right down from here on and still turn in a half decent time”. But the competitive streak in me wouldn't let me. “Keep pushing” And then, with about three km to go we headed back along the beach road, and straight into a stiff breeze. This was getting really difficult!
Garmin told me I was slowing, but still at the same sort of pace from Oxford. Touch and go. Would this be a quicker time? We headed away from the sea front (relief) and back into parkrun territory, back into the Lodmoor car park, turn right into Weymouth college, and that wonderful moment when you see the finishing line in front; you know nothing is going to stop you getting there and you run as fast as you are able.
For the record 79th place in 48:48 (Garmin log here), nine seconds faster than the time in Oxford. I am encouraged to have finished well inside the top half for a race like this. When I started out last year, I was typically about two thirds of the way down the field. And then off to the Lodmoor pub with new friends. All-in-all a most enjoyable and satisfying evening. Many thanks for the impeccable organisation and to all that volunteered to help this time, enabling the likes of myself to run.
So a few reflections (I suspect more of this to come in a future post). “How the hell did I get myself into this?” - I ask myself, and yet “Why the hell didn't I get myself into this years ago?” - I ask myself too. Because it is all so simple. It so satisfies competitive me. And yet who am I truly competing with? me - no-one else – just me. And I can rejoice alongside others when they do well, and feel sad for them when it's not so good. How healthy is that? And feeling fitter than at any time for about 40 years. How healthy is that too? Bring on parkrun, Crewkerne 10k, Puddletown Plod, 'Ackney 'Arf etc etc.. I have to keep this up,
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