I was collected by chauffeur on Saturday morning and driven to Druridge Bay, just south of Amble for the Park Run. I've only ran 6 of these since 2009, when I was bagging late 17 minute times for 5k. As the runners began to arrive, me and Mr B had a lop around the course. It was more track and gravel than tarmac with a small click over a wee bridge at the far end of the course. Its a 2 lapper that makes its way around the lake formed by the old opencast. There was just over 100 that kicked off and I had the headphones on.
The rest of the family (bar one) were also running but had arrived via another kind driver, so quite a turnout. After the start, I tried to get into a stride and manage my breathing. A 5k is a bit of a flat out affair. There's no time to ponder the likely economic effects of Brexit, the pro's and cons of Hokas cushioned shoes or how my latest read, Waugh's 'Brideshead Revisited', is shaping up. The last Rebus novel was predictably enjoyable.
The leader was well away in front, but I had snuck my way up into 2nd and dug in for the second lap, starting at 5:48, dropping to 6:12 and then digging in for the final mile or so, slaver flaying from my loose chops. It wasn't pretty but 19:03 is what it was. On the warm down I was assured that the course is long, so I am predicting 39:39 for Sundays up and coming 10k. When the results came out I was down as 'unknown', so no loss of face here. I can remain discreetly faceless. The scanner must have misfired. I hate a mis-firing scanner, don't you? If nothing else I should be able to crack 19 minutes in July Sunderland 5k, which has 300 metres of downslope at the start and is worth 10 to 15 seconds of any runners time.