Some folk I know who are good at cycling are also pretty nifty when it comes to running. Spending too much time on Strava means I see them clocking up the jogging miles at a very respectable speed (that means you, Dawson, Fox and Finch). So, as my cycling is up to 65 miles or so at a steadily improving pace, I reasoned that, despite not having run further than to the toilet in the past 15 years, I surely now had the fitness levels and endurance to give it another go.
So, after some persuasion from a friend on Christmas Eve (which may or may not have involved a hefty quantity of Adnams), I agreed to enter the Ipswich Rugby Club 6K Fun Run on Boxing Day morning. It would be a ‘casual’ fun run from the club, around Fynn Valley, and back.
Fun run, my arse. If that’s meant to be fun, I’d hate to go on a serious run.
Needless to say it turned into a ‘fun’ run-walk. Ending in more of a walk-walk with the odd quickened pace or two (this may have been when I was stumbling forward and nearly falling over, I’m not sure).
I started at the back of around 50 runners, and overtook absolutely no one. So, yes, I was last, and even the bloke collecting the signs with his dog afterwards nearly caught me up. It was the ‘running’ equivalent of some of my cycling sportives, such as the Stowmarket CC Three Counties, where I described with some sorrow how I started last… and stayed there.
Six kilometres is nearly four miles. That’s quite a long way for an idiot like me to ‘run’. Especially as I realised I had nothing to ‘run’ in, so had to wear cycling shorts with normal shorts over the top – and my cycling jersey. I may as well have worn my helmet and glasses – at least that way nobody would have recognised me.
Setting off enthusiastically, it all went tragically wrong after about a mile and a half, as the track got boggier and the hill got hillier (I know, that should be ‘more hilly’, but it sounded better). I stopped jogging, and started walking, and from then on kept up a sort of 100-yard jog, 100-yard walk routine. Despite my hapless performance, I was not *that* far off the second-last person, but the club house was quite empty when I got back, with most people having long gone home to celebrate Boxing Day.
Yes, it hurt like hell (and my thighs are refusing to work today), and yes I again showed myself up. But you know what? There was a sense of achievement; another thing I’d done which would have been impossible only a year ago. And I’m happy my £5 entry fee went to local charities.
I will, however, be sticking to my bike from now on.
*Photo courtesy Lucy Roberts