Tuesday started with a meet with Hamish White, the environmental Officer at Elmbridge Council. A small section of the Hampton Court Half route runs through woodland and I needed to be able to reassure him and two local Elmbridge councillors that the race would not cause disruption to local residents.The continuing bad weather came in hard and I arrived at the car park in torrential rain. Driving up the Portsmouth Road the Thames was in full spate, almost overtopping the banks along the Queens promenade in Kingston.The meeting in the car park took place under umbrellas.
Fortunately all agreed that the route was sound, but that is more than can be said for the ground, which was distinctly muddy.While passable, we will hope that the exceptional recent rainfall is followed by a dry spell to let the water table recede to normal seasonal levels.
Back to training in the evening, with The Stragglers Thames Ditton Group, which meets every Thursday at the Thames Ditton Cricket Club. Always a friendly bunch, we had a good turnout with twenty or so runners including a couple of newcomers. We split into two groups and I did a gentle but very pleasant four miles with the slower group. Still feeling stiff from Sundays run!
Should really get out tonight according to the schedule, but lots on so will see how it goes. May well depend on the weather. If its raining again, forget it!
Despite the chill wind the Tadworth 10 (mile) was a good race to kick off the New Year. Described as undulating and challenging it lives up to its word with a succession of steep ups and downs in the environs of the Epsom Racecourse. Also a good marker for fitness as the training programme for the Brighton Marathon on April 6th reaches the end of week 3.
As expected on current form I ran this slower than I would have liked 89.03 against a target 85, but given the conditions and the course not too bad. Would have done 85 on a flat course, honest!
Post race statistics (courtesy of a very quick results service by Sport Systems) show that I finished in the top 52% at 331/638. It looks better when you compare within age category. Running as an MV60 I was 8th out of 28 in this group, and on age grading of 61.82% 199th. One of the few advantages of getting older as a runner is the ability to improve age grade rates!
Next target race is the Brighton Half which runs on February 16. I am hoping to hit around 1hr 50 for this which keeps a 4 hour marathon in sight. Unfortunately this clashes with a great local 10k, The Valentines 10k in Chessington, organised by the 26.2 RC. The following week (February 23rd) is both my birthday and the inaugural running of the Hampton Court Half Marathon, which i am organising. Looks like a strong field of 2000 plus runners and we hope a regular fixture in the Spring Half calendar.
After a gap of a year, best intentions for 2014 to keep Running Wild going with regular updates. Best, Peter