I've really got to stop this blogging lark.
I had planned to do a site visit in Bradford on Monday, but decided instead to drive down today and pick up the Idle Trail Race which was 5 minutes away from the site I was to visit. It also means I get tomorrow afternoon off.
It was cool and breezy with a heavy shower just before the start. Seeing the banner for 'Flaming Photography' and other folk wandering around with unfeasibly wide lenses and cameras that, whatever they were, couldn't be described as 'compact', I dispensed with my camera phone which was, in any case, a victim of yesterdays rain. We were mostly all huddled under trees with 3 minutes to go except for one or two who were out on the football field and clearly wanting to get on with it.
Around 240 set off for a lap around the pitch and then out along the road and down some stairs to the canal. I worked through a little group until I caught a Stainland Harrier and sat behind him for a couple of miles. The pace was fast enough for me and I wondered if I could keep it going. Surprisingly, he dropped back behind me at around 3 miles. There were no hills along the canal and I thought we were in for more of the same on the way back. I also thought that Stainland had run out of puff but after another half a mile or so he was back and passed me easily. We were hitting a few inclines now and halfway up one a marshall by one of the gates said ' you're 9th, you're 10th etc'. 'Tenth, eh? Not too bad' I thought.
That was the last positive thought I had as I looked down to see a set of wheels passing me. I recognised them. The wheels were mine. They'd well and truly fallen off. They were already packed up and heading off in the other direction. See you. I felt the svelte, highly tuned v12 racing machine turn into Mr Whippy's ice cream van. Even the cheery jingle began to sound like a broken down record player. It coughed, spluttered and then that was it.
I went from 9th to 13th over a mile or so and even then I was failing to do a good job of impersonating a runner. I kept on thinking about what witticism I might come up with or what I would blog about in this race rather than focusing on the soles of Pudsey Pacer as he came past. I hung on grimly up some cobbles, along the edge of a field and down a wide cobbled boulevard of trees and back onto the pitch at the end, desperate that Pudsey wasn't going to wrestle my 13th place off me. He didn't need to as it happens as he was 12th but I didn't know that. Getting back this afternoon, I find the results up already and I've been re-instated (or more likely my counting was as poor as my running). It wasn't pretty.
In retrospect I only lost 35 seconds over the last 2 miles, but that time could be better spent giving interviews, stopping for autographs and posing for photographs after the race.
Well done to the organisers and fantastic speed of publishing the results.