Today, we venture far into the wilds of the frozen North, with no
more than Google Maps and GPS to guide our way...
For this is the day of the Perivale 5, organised by Pat's club and
not far from where cousin Hugo lives, so it would be churlish not
Before the race, in the warmth! The woman in green is Anne-Lucie;
Hugo goes running with her because his wife is far more sensible
than me and does much more useful things.
Who knows what's in her pocket, she's definitely pleased to see me!
Her fellow marshalls are amused by the story of how she never
smiles when running except the time I yelled "Smile Pat!!!" at her
and she did. Poor Roger, who's only her husband, has never been so
The race begins. Trainspotters would probably feel short-changed by
the absence of the 9:59 passing by, but you can't have everything...
I know that woman!
Hugo's found himself a bird on either side. I'm getting jealous!
Ah, the beautiful scenery of North-West London...
Amanda's tall for a woman, but she's next to a guy who's tall for a
Santa Pacer. He's well behind Amanda, and stays that way till the
end, but she's still a bit surprised to have beaten him.
Here's Anne-Lucie, now she's left Hugo. Let's hope the guy next to
her is ok, he's looking a bit rough.
Hugo takes the outside line!
It's not the world's most scenic race, but the section through the
park is not unattractive,
Through the park or wherever, it's still some pretty serious racing.
Anne-Lucie in the distance. I can't wait, though, because I need to
get ahead of Amanda again. Truth is, I could have waited a bit and
still been fine, but this was our first time here so we didn't have
much of a clue in advance.
I suspect that few of the racers realise they are running alongside
the river Brent - yes the one that gives its name to Brentford! -
but I can't find a good angle for both runners and scenery.
Look very closely, you can see the river in the background.
Amanda rounds the final bend,
Arrrghh! Who the <expletive deleted> has overtaken her just
before the finish line?! Turns out she's an Ealing Eagle, so a hated
piggy rival of Ealing Southall and Middlesex. We are outraged!
Collecting the T-shirts: Eagle, Amanda and the woman who had the
decency to stay behind her on the final sprint. [Later we learn that
Roger is cordially hated by many of his peers because he starts slow
and overtakes people right at the end. Naturally we're too polite to
say what we think of this.]
Anne-Lucie about to hit the final straight (which is, err, not
straight at all, but a proper boingy running track; apparently it's
just brilliant despite the fact that you have to go round in a
circle to reach the end).
Look, there's Hugo. What? Where? Phew, just got a picture in time!
Amanda cheers Anne-Lucie on home!
Hugo crosses the line.
If only Hugo was a woman, I could invent some amusing remark about
witches and Macbeth...
And Pat is part of the kid's fun run, although we gather that some
of the kids do seriously competitive times.