Position: 671/2537 (Gender position 82)
This was to be my second time running the Baker Hughes 10k, and the weather was glorious. A friend from the gym, Will, had recently got into running (not my fault, entirely), and we had decided to meet at the gym beforehand for a warm-up. I remember we had both discovered power yoga, and we did some vinyasas in one of the studios. He’s gay, but I have no real excuse for that. I should have just turned up drunk, like I did the year before (where I PB’ed, by the way, and have never managed to run a timed 10k faster, disgustingly!).
Anyway, after the warm-up, we headed to the start area where we basked in the sunshine, an Aberdeen rarity, and tried to pretend like we had no pre-race nerves:
Soon after a bit of photo posing, we made our way to the start line, and before we knew it, we were off! I remember starting behind Will and trying to keep up, but slowly and steadily his red shirt bounded further and further into the distance until I couldn’t see it anymore. This obviously annoyed me, and I have never listened to the System of a Down album I had playing without feeling a tinge of bitterness since that day.
The course is pretty uneventful, and I just focused on getting it done and not stopping, a technique that seemed fairly effective for me. As this was a PG moment (pre-Garmin), I had to rely on the kilometer markers to inform me of how much torture I had left to endure, and when I saw the 9km sign, I hit the gas, knowing from my treadmill tendencies that I had less than 6 minutes left to blast out.
Turning that final corner before spotting the finish line was fantastic. I broke into a sprint and in my head I felt like spectators were getting a real treat watching my rippling leg muscle glimmer in the sunshine, illuminated by my healthy, glistening sweat. In reality, they may have glanced in my direction when they heard me grunting my way past some dude who happened to be ‘the chosen one’, the person I had decided at that point I HAD TO BEAT. I crossed the line, felt like puking for a while, and had my medal placed around my neck as I tried to get back to a normal breathing pattern and find Will, who I knew would be ready to subtly drop into conversation in any way possible that he had beat me (I was right).
Please excuse my lack of eyebrows – these were the days before I had discovered blondes need to tint.
I hadn’t beat last year’s time, and I hadn’t beat Will, but overall I had a good race, and who is going to complain about getting another medal to display, right?