My Run London

Well, it’s over. I joined 35,000 other runners this morning for a splendid 10km race in Hyde Park. The agenda: North of the river vs. South, their relative merits having formed the basis of many a pub conversation for many a year. We South donned lovely orange t-shirts; the North, green.

It was a great event. The organisation seemed flawless, although a bunch of about five angry people directed venom at the stewards because they’d missed their allotted start time. The consequence? Wait 50 minutes until the next wave; this was apparently not acceptable. They seemed determined not to have an enjoyable day out. Idiots.

The branding was also very professional and compelling. The agenda was inspired, and all of the branding materials supported this beautifully. There was one tiny branding faux pas, the grammatical mistake on the giant screens: Lets get this race started.

I was in the third wave of four, with a start time of 11:55am. I managed to get to within around ten rows of the front at the start line, which I thought would be a good thing. In actual fact, it came with mixed blessings. On the one hand, I wasn’t stuck in crazy amounts of traffic; on the other, I was with faster runners, who dragged me along in the early kms, meaning that I started faster than I should have.

The fast start resulted in a difficult stint between around 5km and 7km, but I came out of that strong. However, the last 500m was hard, with a finish line that never seemed to get closer, and a nasty slight uphill for the final 2–300 metres. My time: a respectable 43:29. In my mind, I was hoping for sub-45, but I’d communicated my target as sub-47 to save face, just in case. Incidentally, Paula Radcliffe was targeting 45 minutes, this when she’s six months’ pregnant! I must check whether I beat her.

My time equates to 6 minutes 59.8778 seconds per mile. One second more would have meant I’d have missed the seven minute milestone. That’s 8.57 miles per hour. Keep that pace up, and I’d be running a 3 hour, 3 minute, 28 second marathon. Pipe dream!

I’ll get my 2km splits later, which will make interesting reading. The first and last are likely to be the quickest, I expect.

There was a genuine sense of camaraderie on the way to the event, the orange masses heading over the river, eventually mixing with our green counterparts. I was slightly concerned about the fate of the South after hearing the following comments from fellow orange runners aboard the 137 bus.

One guy looked decidedly out of breath after making his way up the stairs of the bus.

The North vs. South analysis started off on a very dodgy footing. The organisers were claiming that the North was winning, because after 46 minutes of the first wave, more green runners had finished than had orange ones. (This statistic is only useful if the number of entrants from each geography is equal.) I assume they realised their faux pas, and started instead to report on the average time of finishers so far. When I left, the South had an average 16 seconds better than that of the North, but this could easily swing, especially when my fellow bus riders pitch up at the finish line. The results have not yet been published.

Even this statistic is somewhat flawed. As the event evolves, you need to take into account both the average time of finishers and the percentage of entrants that have finished. If your average time is very low, but you have lots of people still out on the course, it’s not necessarily a good place to be.

Before leaving, I did brave the 30 minute queue for a free massage, which was given by a guy. Before starting, he rolled my shorts up, which brought memories of George’s massage in Seinfeld, a couple of poetic excerpts below.

RECEPTIONIST: … And George, you’ll be with Raymond.
GEORGE: Excuse me, did you say ‘Raymond’?
GEORGE: But, uh, Raymond is a man.
RECEPTIONIST: That’s right.
GEORGE: I can’t get a massage from a man.
ELAINE: Why not?
GEORGE: What, are you crazy? I can’t have a man touching me. Switch with me.
ELAINE: No, I don’t want the man either.
GEORGE: What’s the difference, you’re a woman. They’re supposed to be touching you.
ELAINE: He’d just be touching your back.
GEORGE: He’d just be touching your back too.
ELAINE: No, it could get sexual.
GEORGE: I know. That’s the point. If it’s gonna get sexual, it should get sexual with you.
ELAINE: I wouldn’t be comfortable.
GEORGE: I would? What if something happens?
ELAINE: What could happen?
GEORGE: What if it felt good?
ELAINE: It’s supposed to feel good.
GEORGE: I don’t want it to feel good.
ELAINE: Then why get the massage?
GEORGE: Exactly!
RAYMOND: George?
RAYMOND: I’m Raymond.
GEORGE: Hello.

JERRY: What’s with you?
GEORGE: A… ah…
JERRY: Yes, A…?
GEORGE: A man gave me…
JERRY: Yes, a man gave you…?
GEORGE: A man gave me… a massage. hu, hu…
GEORGE: So he… had his hands and, uh, he was uh…
JERRY: He was what?!
GEORGE: He-he was uh… touching and rubbing. (nervous laugh)
JERRY: That’s a massage.
GEORGE: And then I took my pants off.
JERRY: You took your pants off?
GEORGE: For my hamstring.
GEORGE: He got about uh, two inches from… there.
JERRY: Really?
GEORGE: I think it moved.
JERRY: Moved?
GEORGE: It may have moved, I don’t know.
JERRY: I’m sure it didn’t move.
GEORGE: It moved! It was imperceptible but I-I felt it.
JERRY: Maybe it just wanted to change positions? You know, shift to the other side.
GEORGE: No, no. It wasn’t a shift, I’ve shifted, this was a move.
JERRY: Okay, so what if it moved?
GEORGE: That’s the sign! The test; if a – if a man makes it move.
JERRY: That’s not the test. Contact is the test, if it moves, as a result of contact.
GEORGE: You think it’s contact? It has to be touched?
JERRY: That’s what a gym teacher once told me.
(Kramer enters.)
KRAMER: I just saw Joe DiMaggio in Dinky Donuts. You know, I-I looked in there and there he was having coffee and a donut.

(That last line had nothing to do with the context, but it’s funny.)

Great massage, although the guy was genuinely shocked at how tight my calves were. Hard as rock, by all accounts. The calves, that is.


3 Responses to “My Run London”

  1. rob on October 8th, 2006 09:31

    I think it moved!
    Nice work Dan and well done.

  2. Sean on October 8th, 2006 23:10


    Well done. Good time. I saw them setting it all up on Saturday……


  3. Nicola on October 9th, 2006 04:49

    To much math arrgghhh…….

    Superb amount of cash raised – well done Dan (no one will mention that the heavily pregnant Paula R beat your time)

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