It was the local 10km running race today. Runners seem to denominate their runs in kilometres to make them appear longer which is something I hope bike races never lower themselves to. Imagine if you found out that Milan-San Remo when converted to proper english miles amounted to the same as a round trip to the shops to fetch some milk, possibly detouring to the library to use their internet to update your wise and knowledgeable bike blog. Measuring in kilometres also means the distance marker signs come around quicker to make up for running being that much slower than riding a bike which I certainly appreciated today, when I could see them through the fog that is. I thought I should support my local race, not that they need my support as they always sell all the places, although as I’ve said before I’m not really a runner; bloody runners, I always say, don’t pay road tax; but winter in these parts is sometimes not conducive to going out on two wheels, four wheels being a bit dicy at times and it’s the out of control people on four wheels who are the main reason for not heading out on two, so running gets me out of the house occasionally, and without having to venture too much onto the highway, over that period, which isn’t far away now, when those who apparently know about these things and think it’s a really good idea put us all back on GMT for six months.
Looking around at the club vests with names such as hard bastards fell climbers and badass harriers I felt distinctly under qualified to take part in this race, especially as the name of the event includes the word hilly in the title. With bike riders having to take care when doing anything standing up that their freakishly overdeveloped cardio-vascular system doesn’t write cheques their non-impact-bearing legs can’t cash I am also quite unusual amongst runners in using treking poles to keep the weight off my knees during a race. Sorry about the clicking of metal on tarmac for those who had to follow me round the course by the way. Nervous as I was though I suddenly remembered that I live here and anything you choose to do outdoors around here is hilly. To calm my reluctance further I recalled that they do say that pinning a number on your chest makes you go 10% quicker on its own although the history of top level athletics suggests it’s the pharmaceuticals taken over the previous off season that really make the difference. I’ve got my finger on the pulse of pro cycling and I’m pretty sure none of that kind of thing has ever gone on in our sport so there’s another reason for my feeling that cycling and running don’t mix. A number just seems to provide additional wind resistance if you ask me. I did have a pint of commeratively named 10k ale last night at the beer festival which was being held over this weekend but I have an assurance from the UCI that they’ll give me the nod if anyone is testing for novelty brewing products in my area.
Anyway, I got round with several runners still behind me when I finished and not all of them were those whom I stabbed through the feet with my ski poles during the bottleneck at the start. The prize was a rather snazzy buff in the local club colours with a picture of a sheep of the breed named for this valley in running shoes, and looking a bit knackered it has to be said, which I shall wear with pride as there is no other buff like the one I got today so should you ever be in town and see me running in the buff please come over and have a chat. I’m very approachable and really not that hard to keep up with.