It has been some time since Oaks Blokes has had a blog. I understand from ‘the management’ that any member can provide a blog for the enjoyment of other members. Further, total anonymity will be provided to any blogger in order to encourage ‘open and honest’ feedback to other members (in other words supportive piss taking). Please remember feedback is a ‘gift’ and therefore you will be helping other runners. One minor word of caution, content can lead to exposure of the source - for example - if it contains the weather report we will all know the Duncan L wrote it!
For the benefit of the three members of the club under 40 (yes I know some of you lie about your ages) - Lars tells me all his group are in their 30’s (come to think about it he may have said at the end of their second 30’s). The Good, The Bad and The Ugly was a very old film that most of us thought was good 30 years ago and now can not understand why we did. Anyway, who cares all men in lycra look younger (so no need to take several weeks off like Tim P, for cosmetic enhancement feigning some sort of ankle injury) - just get your kit on and get out there.
We start with the ugly (no, not our runners, you cynical bunch) but the run at Kemsing 3 weeks ago. Duncan had promised us that if we went up that bloody hill, it would not be muddy (now you will all form your own opinions - but I think he has spent too much time with that other coach [you know the one you all take the piss out of] - because as it turned out it was in no way an accurate reflection of the running experience which nearly killed half of us in the main group. Or as the coaches put it, the statement had some variance with the reality of the experience at the delivery point (ie a lie). If you were in that group don’t feel you chose badly, confidential feedback from several CHIS’s (Covert Human Intelligence Source) was, that our renowned Nordic navigator did not have a Scooby of where he was - ‘completely lost’ was one quote - now he gave Ian W a compass at a previous Christmas meal, in relation to Ian’s navigation skills (again remember that’s an example of constructive feedback and a gift, coaches leading by example!’).
On the up side of this run - it does have the best views in Kent - or it would, if it wasn’t foggy. Still there are always the fantastic bluebell woods along the way - which as we found out look just like every other bl…dy wood when there are no bluebells growing. So not such a ‘good call’ up to this point.
However, Duncan’s redemption came at the end. 20 rather knackered runners went for post 6.5 mile coffee and sarnies at the Bull PH. Duncan had pre ordered for 40 (yes 40 !!!). Then came the ugly sight of 20 blokes eating 40 rounds of egg, bacon and sausage sarnies, washed down with unpleasant amounts of coffee. The training that those present have been through over previous weeks and months did mean, I can proudly state, the blokes rose (expanded) to the challenge - good effort guys and our thanks to Duncan (who could not stay himself).
The following week we were back at Hollybush with a great turn out. I should also state that it was the last of Duncan’s 7am runs for a while - which I know a number of you have tried - A special mention should go to that big fellow who runs with us in the cricket season (Nigel P) and one of our new members Hammad, who looked considerably more relaxed at the end of it than Duncan did, who was facing repeating a similar run at 8am. The 8am run was in fact good and bad in equal measures - firstly the weather was great, loads of runners and some fantastic performances at all levels. Bad from a personal point of view as I experience Oaks Blokes ‘Jonty Style’ - ie with a hangover that means you breath out more alcoholic fumes that you breath in oxygen. Still readers should remember this is how to get balance in your lives - overdo the bad and make up with some good.
There was a learning point for the coach here - if you wait at the back to ensure everyone gets off ok and let the likes of Patrick M and Paul S lead off, they go like rockets, and you find yourself ½ mile behind desperately trying to catch up with the front. Now I have previously suggested old men can learn new tricks (but recent evidence suggests - slowly), as again this week a similar mistake was made by letting the group know roughly which point we were heading to. Rather than following the intended meandering route to this point, the deadly duo took the direct path to it, at mach 10. The coach was heard to mention as he tried to catch up with the front, that it was a bit like your sat nav constantly having to say ‘recalculating your route’ each time we passed the next intended turn off. But this would suggest there is a planned route and that is about as convincing as Duncan’s ‘non muddy’ route at Kemsing.
For this weeks review – I think we can let the photos tell the story (now that is bad, I am tired and getting lazy with a large glass of red in my hand) – but a great début by Chris B, who became one of Lars’ Hero’s for the day – see photos again.