Alive and Running April 19 2015

WP_20150419_015 New tactics for parkrun. It’s a good example of thinking outside of the box. I was musing (metaphorically) about scything down the competition and then I thought  why not in actuality! So when I saw this scythe at a local garage sale, I knew the universe was giving me something I needed. I bought it for a song ( Let It Be, and I threw in a shortened version of American Pie as an encore). I still have to figure out where to place myself on the start line but that’s not likely to be a problem since I think there’ll be plenty of space around me wherever I choose to stand (particularly if I’m wearing something black and hooded.

Anyway, back to a pre-scythe parkrun at Wimpole Estate yesterday. It went OK. Not too cold, a reasonable time and some unexpected sun. There was a frost at 7.45 am when I walked Rupert the dalmatian but by 9 am it had warmed up sufficiently to run without a jacket. A good cup of coffee and a fruit scone with strawberry jam in the National Trust restaurant/cafe with Ms Alive and Running and our running chums completed a very enjoyable morning.

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In the afternoon we went into Cambridge for a birthday meal. The sun remained out and the scene on the Cam was barely distinguishable from the Venetian Grand Canal.

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And so, today, to Ickworth House, which is a rotunda, to run a Hoohaar 10k on the estate. I think all races should be held on National Trust properties. Great facilities (lavatories instead of toilets, lovely large, airy cafes, wonderful grounds) and entry to the right class of person. The plebs are turned away at the Gate House and advised to go and run in a public park. Only joking! The hoi polloi are guaranteed entry everywhere.

The race went well and I knocked off 90 seconds from last year. There is an evil hill at 9k which slowed me down considerably but I’m not complaining (much). It’s a beautiful course, mainly trail, and undulating. Unfortunately one of our running friends, who moved to Yorkshire and came down for this race, fell and injured her knee. Unable to continue, she had to hobble back because of a lack of mobile signal and inadequate contingency arrangements.

And speaking of class based entertainment, one can do no better than listen to BBC Radio 4’s Paul Temple and the Gregory Affair, a 2013 production of Francis Durbridge’s detective drama at 11.30 am on Fridays. Paul Temple, his wife , Steve (female) and the top policemen have cut glass English accents and weld power effortlessly with confidence and panache. Gentle drama, gentle comedy and so redolent of a 30’s and 40’s class divided Britain.

Aliveandrunning April 6 2014

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Cambourne 10k, near Cambridge, today, with a field of 960 and I came in at 51 minutes 28 seconds, 32 seconds slower than last year. Not quite so windy as last year and probably the best temperature for running (for me) around 14c although I don’t mind it up to 23-24c. I am such a sensible person and therefore it was in keeping with my sensible nature that I drank at the half way water station and managed to stave off dehydration that cruelly beset me at the recent Cambridge half marathon. My two arch rivals, Mike and Kerry, beat me by about two and a half minutes, a margin which I found acceptable so we will remain friends (until the margin becomes a yawning chasm and then I will review the situation).

I noticed the Greek God Hermes sitting on a cloud watching my progress and smiling wryly but declining to assist me to run faster. At one point he swung his winged and sandalled feet back and forth to taunt me. So, no help from Mount Olympus today then.

Next weekend, we’ll be watching the London marathon in the docklands area with family and friends. This worked very well last year and we saw a lot of people running that we knew from Cambridge. We also caught the  the elite runners but if you blink at the wrong moment you’ve missed them. They are running machines like the the new improved cyborg T-1000 in Terminator 2 : Judgement Day. I wouldn’t want to accidentally stumble into their path. They’d use my body as a springboard and leave a sympathetic god to scoop me up.