I’m spending a lot of time in Southport at the moment visiting family, and we all know what we do when we’re away visiting family don’t we? We check to see if there are any races on! And, what’s this, a half-marathon just 10 minutes walk from my in-laws flat? Well, that certainly comes under ‘serendipity’ in my dictionary.
Denise was there too, but she had a special bit, as I discovered when I was facepalmed trying to get into their enclosure. “Are you a Tourist?”, I was asked. My baffled expression was a clear enough answer and I went over to the non-Tourist bits of Victoria Park. I bumped into Denise soon enough though, easily spotting the purple vest amongst the not-very-purply-generally runners. (Penny Lane Striders is near the top of my list of great club names, just below the Troon Tortoises). Denise is currently doing the Tour of Merseyside, 6 races over 7 days. It looks a blast and it’s one to keep an eye on for next year. Fills up quickly though.
So just one weekend after running the Durham Dales Challenge as an impulse purchase, here I was again, on another one. The course was described as fast and flat. We started and I did as I was told. Belting round the first 5 miles, keeping an eye on my watch and having quite a high opinion of myself. Mile 5 to 6 I started reviewing the situation, and on mile 7 I slowed to a jog.
For the next few miles I was a shadow of my former self and around the lake in Southport I later learned that Denise had me in her sights. But I perked up the last mile or two and soon after passing the 12 mile marker found myself back in Victoria Park. A little loop, and there it was, the Finish. Time to give it what’s left! Closer, closer, and, what the hell?! Someone’s having a laugh! I could see the finish, just 100 metres away, but sadly we were separated by a marshall and a metal barrier. Apparently, we still had a lap round the park to do yet! Cruel, Southport, Cruel!
I still managed to just squeeze in a sub-2 hour half although I hadn’t expected to literally end the race with a Park Run. Denise wasn’t quite so chuffed with my time, telling me that she almost caught me around the lake, but then ‘you sped up again you little shit’. I glowed with pleasure; it’s always satisfying to pip a clubmate over the line, and even better when they’re a bit miffed about it! Better luck next year Denise!Download file for GPS