Aliveandrunning2013 November 17

Cambridge  parkrun 5K yesterday morning. It wasn’t as cold as expected (around 6-7C) although for the last 4 years since I had my heart attack, I am much more sensitive to low temperatures than before. I presume this is due to the side effects of medication. This is a manageable problem if I wear appropriate running gear. This means I might have a heavier duty running jacket, long sleeved running top, heavy duty gloves, beenie and track bottoms. No wonder I’m slower at the moment. I can look like an Arctic traveller. It’s also highly likely I will be standing next to someone who has vest and shorts when it’s below zero. I think these types of runners should have their own separate race where they are free to run naked in the snow if they choose. Anyway, the going was soft to muddy and the degree of traction wasn’t great so I didn’t get under 24 minutes. In the finish tunnel there’s an occasional holdup and I can always be easily identified because I am doubled over with exertion and lack of breath. This egregious state of affairs doesn’t last long because I recover quickly but not before someone asks me if I’m OK. I gasp “Yes, yes” but deep down I know I’ve never been the same since Cream broke up in 1968 and Jimi Hendrix died in 1970. And don’t get me started on excellent magazines which are now defunct. Particularly The Listener, invariably described as the ” official organ of the BBC.” Not glossy, not full of celebrity froth but crammed of interesting, explanatory articles and the text of talks and discussions from 1929 to 1991, weekly. So, when I finish exhausted, it’s hard for people to realise there is an additional component of loss, anger, unfairness, bewilderment and wistfulness  to my presentation. Probably they should ask if I needed counselling rather than help for my temporary physical state.

Anyway, there were 372 finishers at Cambridge yesterday. The fastest ran 5K in 16 minutes 19 seconds and the last person’s time was 39 minutes 6 seconds. Peter the oldest park runner (80-84 age category) is not actually running at present but has taken to walking the course IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION and greeting everybody he knows as they pass. Long may he do so. Here’s the link :

Is there an equivalent nationally organised, weekly free race, run by volunteers (no pun intended) happening in the USA ?

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