So I took part in the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge on Thursday night. Every time, it catches me off-guard just how far 3.5 miles can feel. As I’ve said before, I have absolutely no game plan for this distance beyond just running as fast as I can. I guess this is like a tempo run for me. Yeah, I hate tempo runs.
Anyway, despite the tube strike, we all made it down to the start in good time. The person organising it at our company stayed with our bags, so we didn’t have to queue to check them in/retrieve them. What a superstar! I was worried that I had a red number when everyone else had green or yellow. Had I somehow opted for the fastest camp?
Fortunately, this was not the case – the blues were first. (Note to self: if a blue bib ever turns up in your race pack, you’ve lost the plot). We drank the free water and reeled off our excuses , pre-explaining a bad performance in a race which hadn’t even started yet.
But first, let me take a selfie….
At 6.30pm I headed into the start funnel. Little Miss Antisocial opted to keep clear of all colleagues. I just wanted to run at my own pace, and knew it might kill me trying to keep up with others.
As always in this race, there were some people who looked highly unconvincing and I expect just thought “yeah, I reckon I can run that in half an hour” and ended up in our start pack. I overtook a lot of walking people in the middle mile. There really is no excuse. Anyway, I couldn’t take photos of these actual people, but I saw a girl whose hair looked like this, but held back with a very loose clip. It was almost falling down before she even started.
A guy standing next to me was wearing a jumper exactly like this. I kid you not. It was too hot yesterday for this jumper FULL STOP. I bet he regretted that one pretty quickly.
Of course you don’t have to look like a runner to be one….but is’s not a coincidence that we all tie our hair back properly and wear breathable fabrics.
Once we started, I spotted my colleagues in the same start group and figured I could beat two of them. I overtook all three, and sure enough one charged past me with the same look a Jaguar driver gives to the Mini which just deigned to overtake it on the motorway. “Yeah, nice try. Loser”. Anyway, some good competition (all in my own head) did wonders, and I charged on.
Sadly, I got my stomach thing. Having not had it for so long, I drank too much water before we began, and was in pain for 2 miles. At the water station, I stopped to down a cup of water and that cured it. Strangely, I then had loads of energy in the tank – as the stomach thing slowed me down – so I finished stronger than I have ever finished any race. Anyway, I must learn; don’t chug water right before a race.
My time you ask? Bloody 27.01. FML!!
If I’d just not stopped for the water. If I’d just run that little bit faster or started my final sprint that little bit sooner. Balls. Anyway, I came fourth out of 24 runners for our company, which I was pleased with. Only two of us were women, and actually you can really see the demographics of the city at events like this. All the women are under 30 and yet the men are of a far more diverse age range. Maybe men just run more as they get older. I think it probably reflects the offices generally though. A shame perhaps – I just hope all the women in their 30s, 40s and 50s are happy doing whatever they’re doing.
After the effort, we went to a nearby pub for some drinks. Lots of drinks!
Not to sound too happy clappy (still bitter and twisted last time I checked), it was nice chatting to people from other departments and I’ll have a few more people to say “hello” to when I next go to London. (Note to self: do some LinkedIn research beforehand, as you absolutely did not pay attention to people’s names when they introduced themselves).
My hip was really sore yesterday, which I am sad about. It didn’t hurt too much last night, so I am hoping it’s more a strain than an actual injury. Getting up from my desk is now really quite painful until I warm up.
I hope you’re having a great weekend!!