Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Great Birmingham Run 2015

I woke up at 7 am to  get ready. Arte a breakfast of porridge, maple syrup and bananas. We were dropped off  near Digbeth and walked to the start point. Met a few runners who were confused where that was but eventually found it pretty easily. There was a few gazebos and porta-loos set up on the Aston University campus. Where two students amazingly still awake and still drunk at 8am decided to chat to the runners. There were people  from all over  in this little park. Some with bright jacjkets and iPhones strapped to their arms. Some with flags of what time they could achieve on their backs. I saw a Minion. Two grown adults dressed as baby's for the Birmingham Children's Hospital, a guy with a washing machine strapped to his back, a cave man, and of course Wally.  It was a grey sky and a bitterly chilly morning. We all separated in our own little quarters. I was in the white section. The third group to go after the professional athletes and orange runners.  The Birmingham Community Gospel Choir (winner of Gospel Choir of the Year 2015) sung through the speakers. While a man from Free radio, played tunes and told us all what was going on. The wait for the warm up felt like ages. When the warm up finally came is was more of a workout in it's own right. They gave us exercise which are really hard to do in small spaces. Like punching in front of you and squats.
I was eager to get going to just feel warm. Most runners still have yet to grasp that when you start a race, you shouldn't actually race. There's no need to sprint over the starting line and  doing  this not only wears you out for later,  but is unfair on runners starting at a slower pace. Knowing the torture of the last two miles, I knew I'd have to set a slower pace. The first two miles went through the neglected backstreet's on the way to Edgbaston. Throughout people watched, cheered and offered sweets. Thousands of people took part  this year  and everyone ran at different paces.  I was important to not get competitive. Many people ran ahead of me and many people stopped so they could walk 50 yards ahead. I ran every step of the way. The check points had people handing out thousands of bottles of water and Lucozade. Almost all of which were dropped immediately after taking one sip. I amused myself by stepping on them and causing sprays of water. Which was funnier last year when it was much hotter. I also saw a girl holding a sign with "motivational poster" written on it. So I shouted back 'apathetic response'.
Throughout the route there were bands playing, groups of drummers and people representing charity's. Yet people were taking time out of their day just to watch and cheer us all on. The uphill bits were difficult but I was able to sprint down as soon as I found a downhill stretch. The run went through Bournville and back through to Edgbaston where we ran through the cricket ground. Which isn't as impressive from some angles. I knew that I had to save my energy, The endless supply of lucozade and sweets helped. But by the run though Cannon Hill park  things got difficult. I knew that the run up the dual carriageway would be difficult, ad it was. The last 2.1 miles seemed to go on forever. Eventually though, the run finished down broad street. As people cheered and I finally finished All I could do was repeat the time, that I'd seen over and over again. I got my bag, with T shirt and medal, and found somewhere to stretch out. I ran every step of the way, while still battling a cold and came away with a time of 02:29:06. Nearly 3 minutes off my time last year. Pretty good considering I hardly trained for it. But I'm still feeling tired and sore now.

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