Friday, 27 November 2009

First Hare and Hounds

So with Niall's much planned departure on the horizon it was time to step up to the mark and give the JPM Hare and Hounds five mile(ish) handicap a spin. Martin assigned me a start time 30 seconds ahead of Niall which I estimated would mean being overtaken in Green Park while Niall played down the idea of catching me at all.

After a morning relaxing listening to the sweet melodies of "The Best punk album in the world...ever" and drinking coffee I set off ready for action. On the start line (well crack in the pavement) waiting for the word to go I had three things going round my head:
- Don't go off too fast.
- Don't forget the route.
- Don't get run over.

The first section along The Embankment was into a strong headwind so mindful of the first point I took it steady. Followed the correct roads through to Whitehall (second point) and didn't get held up crossing the road. On Horse Guards Parade I glanced back to see 30 seconds Niall a lot closer than 30 seconds behind. He must have mullered the first mile. Pushed on regardless, not sure if he'd now catch and overtake or keep a watching brief.

Was overtaken by a hound (or is it a hare?) on Birdcage Walk and then by another in Green Park, but still no Niall. Three miles in, with the Green Park hill behind me, I was safely back on The Mall having not been delayed by tourists, traffic or marching bands. Not wanting to be too easy a target decided to keep to the centre of the pavement weaving in and out of tourists as required - out of sight out of mind maybe?

Back through Horse Guards Parade and again no delay - why can't all my runs be like this? Was overtaken for the final time on Whitehall Place - but not by you know who. Powered back along The Embankment with the wind behind me. Pushed as hard as I could but was only able to close slightly on a couple of runners in front.

Finished the 4.8 miles in 32:32 with absolutely no complaints or excuses. Race strategy was fine - first three miles steady 6:50 ish. Then upped by the pace by 10 seconds per mile for each of the last couple of miles. No interruptions or hold ups, I didn't get run over and I didn't finish last - hurrah!

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