Thursday, 21 June 2012

MWRRL 3, Harlow - Reasons. Excuses. Pride. And a limerick.

And so our summer running tour of new towns continued as we moved on to Harlow on a balmy evening. Already tired from the jog to the start line, I had been wondering recently how I’d feel if I was to run a slower time after four consecutive 10k PBs this year. I was about to find out. 

Early on, as we headed out into surprisingly beautiful countryside, I was puzzled to see Wendy, one of our faster women striders, running back the other way, but soon saw why. She was getting help as a Fairlands Valley runner had collapsed. I hope and trust she has recovered. 

At about halfway, I realised I was struggling a little, so in order to forget the pain, I tried to compose a limerick. However, I couldn’t get any further than a repetition of: 

There was a young runner from Harlow,
Who looked like a short Gary Barlow... 

So as I slowed down further my mind raced with reasons and excuses to explain my sluggishness: 

  • I’d been feeling a bit queasy for a couple of days 
  • My right calf was starting to hurt 
  • It was quite hot 
  • I didn’t like the uphill bits 
  • I swallowed a fly 
  • I didn’t like the downhill bits 
  • After a while I also didn’t like the flat bits 
  • A bloke behind me was breathing too loudly 
  • I was mesmerised by the bounciness of Jack’s hair as he ran past me

Nevertheless, with the help of Roger, I battled through to the end, even managing to pick up speed as we careered round the field on the final stretch, cheered on by Striders who’d finished already (we scored very well again).

I made it through. And I had scored for the C team! It may be the slowest I’ve run this year (48:18) but it’s the proudest I’ve felt. Every race is different.

And then I found I could finish the limerick! 

There was a young runner from Harlow
Who looked like a short Gary Barlow
He slowed to an amble
And went off to gamble
His savings in posh Monte Carlo!

Richard Sved

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