Saturday, 4 February 2012
Happy 2nd Birthday Coventry parkrun!
It was the chile-est parkrun of the year so far at -7.5C, according to the temperature gauge in the car. I scraped the windscreen, started the engine and after releasing the handbrake didn't move forward an inch. Too cold for the brakes to work, norway that car was going anywhere! So a quick change of plan and I jumped on the bike round to my good friend Mr Slatford's house, which turned out to be a pretty decent 10-minute warm-up in the end. Arrived 5 minutes later than planned and after a quick czech realised the beard, sunglasses and headdress were all still intact. Phew.
Paul came to the door and we jogged up to the park together for a slightly-shorter than normal warm-up to allow for the late-running and pre-run awards ceremony. Not quite so many friendly waves and tooted horns on the way there as the Santa outfits had received a month or so earlier, but we still felt very pleased with our matching Arab costumes.
We arrived at the start line a good 20 minutes before 9am and met up with a few of the Coventry parkrun regulars. A few left-handed handshakes and twiddles of the beard later and the crowd was ready to be addressed. First up was the winner of the Women's Points Competition - Ruth Mahon. Many congratulations to Ruth for her efforts over the last 12 months. Great to see her getting into the spirit of 'Countries of the World' too with a Hawaiian grass skirt and flowery headpiece, neck piece and wristbands. Secondly, the winner of the Men's Points Competition - Andy Wilkinson (aka me). The presentations made and the cakes spread all over the table by the finish and we were ready to run.
Jason got us underway dead on 9 o'clock as usual. The resistance of the tunic meant there was not quite so much Arab spring in my step at the start but I still wanted to post a sub-20-minuter for the first run of the new points year. On completion of lap one in exactly 10 minutes, Paul and I decided to try and get a few seconds in the bag down the hill to the park main gates. Halfway around the second lap and we were only 20 seconds ahead of having to run at full speed to make our 20-minute target. A decision needed to be made. I lifted the pace slightly and quickly pulled a few yards ahead of Paul. I wanted him to come with me but I wanted the 19:xx finish time more. I crossed the line in a satisfactory 15th and 19:54. Time for some birthday cake.
One mini-roll, two shortbreads, two slices of birthday cake (with yummy icing), a mini-magnum and a pint of Mallory's Nesquik / For Goodness Shakes drink (to be confirmed) later meant there was no need for a bacon butty from the cafe this morning. Paul and I had another go at uploading the final results ahead of Jason's week off in 2 weeks' time. I think one more week next week with Jason on hand to answer any queries and we will have it sussed. Two hundred and thirty nine finishers today, a great turn-out for a great occasion. Many happy returns Coventry parkrun!