10:10 as I am sure you are aware is normally associated with the global campaign for members to reduce carbon emissions by 10% (with over 78,000 members), it is an interesting point that Ten Ten is also the name of the Californian international CB radio club (promoting the use of the 10 meter radio wave band – exciting stuff) with a similar number of members. One will save you about £100 per year the other will cost you £10 per year. However, with some groundbreaking journalistic innovation you will surprised to see it being used in relation to running – what a surprise !!
Now the key to this Saturdays run had been well trailered, a flat 10K road run as a preparation run for Brighton. I should mention for those of you who may have missed last weeks ‘Coaches Dictionary’ – ‘flat’ means ‘only one hill’.
Now Duncan L was taking this seriously. He was up at Hollybush for a pre run 45 minutes warm-up – that is about a long as it takes Duncan to run a 10K. After that sort of warm up most of us would be straight into the coffee shop.
I started the briefing on the road route – clearly the intention was for everyone to run their fastest to get a time for planning purposes at Brighton. I asked two fairly simple questions both of which I didn’t think were that hard to answer. Question 1 ‘Does everybody want to do the road run rather than the park?’ – Unanimous answer, ‘yes’. There follows a detailed explanation of the route. Question 2 ‘Does everybody understand the route?’ All bar 3 answer ‘yes’ – three marked maps dished out. OK at this point I thought (stupidly) that this was going to be easy. 10 seconds later, Mark turns up and says, ‘I am just going for a gentle run on my own in the park’. No problem, except 11 of the ‘decisive industrial leaders in the top percentile nationally’ then say, ‘Yes me too actually, I would rather run in the park.’ OK quick change of plan Duncan can do the 10K group (they all know the way anyway, so no stress there) and I will do the park run. I went quickly off to start them at the tennis courts, not realizing that Duncan was changing his shoes. So Duncan was left post 45 min warm up needing to catch up the main group that had a good two minute head start on him. Never mind, it was still going to be OK – there all knew the way after all !!
So whilst Duncan went off like a whippet down a drain pipe, whilst I went for a gentle meander around the park – we stayed to the path because funnily enough I was wearing road shoes (can’t imagine why after this weather!). This was mostly Lar’s ‘self-help’ group. I did not realize what this meant until we were a couple of miles into the run. The self help bit refers to how they support and encourage each other to find the shortest way possible, back to the coffee shop – quite a good plan I thought. – never too old to learn a new trick.
Well now, I know that last sentence is not true really – blokes and directions. It is a male point of pride. We always to understand directions straight off regardless of reality. I have found myself at times asking for directions in parts of the country that I have never visited before. The local old guy saying, ‘go down here until you get to the Old Bull Pub, do you know that?’ A ‘Yes’, (of course I do I am a bloke and we know every pub in the country –how hard can it be to spot a pub in the middle of no where – they are all well signed anyway). Not if they are called the OLD Bull because they have now been converted into a private house ! So why did I bother at the beginning, asking everyone if they understood the route. So as I met the road racers I asked them how it had gone – they all said yes fine, great. Except Nigel P – who complained that he and all the others had gone wrong way. They had not complained as they had said yes to my earlier question – of course Nigel had arrived late and had missed the briefing, so was happy to pass on this information.
Ok one complaint – still not too bad. They were all back and stretched off (except Duncan who having done it, had gone back for strugglers as Gary had told him (hopefully) there were more behind him – I like your positive thinking). There was not, and Duncan got back about 20 minutes later than everyone else, having now completed 10 miles rather than 10K.
15 Fancy Pants Bacon Sarnies at Rafferty’s later( great service by the way – thanks guys/girls) I was starting to relax and feel we had got away with it – no one lost or hurt and only one moan. As we finished our second cup of coffee – Fergal comes down the stairs and joins us and saying excitedly “Its OK we are back, we got lost and went to Otford instead and must have done 10 miles’. I said ‘but I gave you one of the Maps.’ ‘Ah yes’ he says, ‘but Chaz (that’s Andrew M, for those looking to ID him) said it’s ok we won’t get lost I used to be a geography teacher.’
What can I say – but a perfect ending, just perfect !