Tri Christmas

Runners at start Bushy parkrun Christmas Day

Runners at start Bushy parkrun Christmas Day

Woke up around 7am while still pitch dark outside,but Stella said it was raining when she brought up a tray of tea. I had already decided to do the Christmas day park run in Bushy Park which is a real essential if you are in the area, so it was really a question of what to wear. By 8.37 when I left the house the rain had stopped but a steady stream of water was running down Kingston Hill. I was on my mountain bike with off road knobblies and no mubguards and was pretty soon wet with roadspray.

The centre of Kingston is quiet, although approaching the bridge the pealing bells from Kingston Church by the marketplace herald Chistmas morning. Over the bridge and into Bushy Park by St Johns Gate. I notice that the leaves have long gone along the avenue leading into the park proper, but beside the skatepark many pairs of shoes knotted together dangle from the bare winter branches.

As soon as I leave the path and start following tracks towards the Heron ponds I am cycling through mud and puddles and clean leggings become spattered with the wet earth. The sky turns ominously dark and the rain begins. By the time I reach the meeting point by the Diana Fountain car park it is raining heavily.. I park and lock the bike and stuff my jacket into the small rucksack I have carried, just in time to join the exodus across to the start by Chesnut Avenue.

Wearing trail shoes again proved a good shout. The grass is inundated after days of heavy rain and there is much mud on and alongside the path. Despite the weather and it being Christmas day (or I suppose for some of us that’s a really good reason to be there!) its a very well attended run with a crowd of 500 or so participants (actual confirmed figure was 670 finishers!). I go off well but lose places on the second half. Have I slowed down or are a lot of people just running negative splits?

The rain at 4k is now so hard I can barely see. Probably the worst conditions I have ever run in. At the finish chat to a few people but it’s not a day to hang around. I get the bike and cycle back to the Ham side of Teddington Lock where I left the People Carrier last night. Load the bike into the cavernous space of the Galaxy and drive home for a hot shower and an excellent breakfast. of scambled eggs on toast, crisp bacon and salmon.

I am then taken aback when the family decide that they do after all want to go for a swim at Hampton Open Air pool. This, along with the Carol service, is another Wedderburn family tradition. Liv plays a sick card but offers to clean and prepare for dinner. Alex asks to drive and weaves us down to Hampton Court. and on to the pool. Does he always drive like this or is he still pissed from last night? I am glad no breath tests are involved.

The pool is great. Pretty warm in the water, lots of people, good vibe. I haven’t swum in ages and feel pretty rusty, but put together five lenghts then chill with Alex and Vix.

So overall, by the time Alex has sketchily chauffered us back home in the Jag (does he have to steer the car with just one hand?) I am able to claim all three tri disciplines (Running, cycling and swimming) on Christmas morning, although its got to be said, not in full on race conditions. And a very merry Tri-Christmas to you too!

Bushy parkrun stats 25.12.12. My 175th parkrun in a time of 25.41. I cam 264th out of a field of 670 park runners and was 10th out of 20 V60 men.

The mountain bike is a fairly decent Marin I bought second hand after a season at club Vass windsurfing club, Lefkas, Greece. Great bike, but need to get the brakes looked at again despite a service at Evans earlier this year.

The people Carrier is an average Ford Galaxy, 2.3litre petrol engine, 5 speed manual, seven years old and 90,000 miles. Great workhorse and has done sterling service on the Welsh Castles, Green Belt Relay, Joggle 2011, Skye Cuillins expedition and River Relay.

The Jag is a 2001 Jaguar XJ8 with a 3.2 litre turbocharged petrol engine, auto box, and 118,000 on the clock. Beautiful car to drive. Not frugal on petrol but I bought it cheap and have had a great year with it to date.

Christmas day and still runners out there sorting out spring races. Five entries so far today, bringing total field at Richmond 13.1 Half Marathon to 155 to date!


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