Think "Twelve Days of Christmas". Sing:
Five Vi-ile Pears
Oh well, onto the serious stuff...
We did the Perivale 5 in 2014, but not since. It's not really
Amanda's normal kind of race, being short, fast and flat, but it's
going to be a bit of a social event, to see Pat along with Hugo and
Anne-Lucie, plus we discover Merilyn's signed up for it too. This
could be hard work for me, chasing all these women and a
And they're off!
Ah, well, no, actually. It's a false start :-(
Ok, the real start. Now this isn't a particularly great photo, but
I'm being a thrifty housewife and getting three for the price of
one. Yes, there's Pat, Merilyn and Amanda all in the one shot if you
Hugo and Anne-Lucie are: a) a bit further back; and b) not paying
attention to my photographic needs, so their punishment is to be
omitted from this first stage.
Now I nip up the shortcut, but I'm still only just in time as the
lead bike comes past. In 2014, I brought my own bike, but looking
back at the telemetry, all I did was zip up and down this short bit
of track so it didn't really seem worth it. Mind, I have had to run
at least part of the way, it's not been a casual stroll to get here
before the field.
At this early point, the lead is being hotly contested. They'll
spread out a bit later.
Ah, well, hmm... You know how runners aren't quite normal people...?
Well this guy isn't quite normal for a runner. Yes, those are flip-flops
he's wearing! We'll have more to say about him later.
Another bulk-buy special. There's Pat coming up, and Merilyn close
behind her. Unfortunately, while I spot Pat and take a load of
pictures following her as she runs past, poor Merilyn's only little
and I haven't spotted her. It will transpire that I swing back from
Pat to looking at the oncoming field just as she runs past so I
don't have any closeups of her here. As a mark of contrition,
therefore, I will not include any closeups of anyone else.
Besides, I wouldn't want to spoil the delicious views of beautiful
So here's Amanda, then, looking far better than the back end of a
And Hugo, without a bus for comparison, so we can't be certain.
And Anne-Lucie. Now I'm tempted to break the promise I just made and
include a marvelous closeup of Anne-Lucie looking like her dog has
just died while number 102 next to her looks like her true love has
just proposed, but that wouldn't be very fair. Instantaneous
expressions captured on camera can be so misleading.
Oh, but I'm so tempted...
To the scenic bit, then (for small values of scenic, admittedly).
Merilyn is now the first of our crew.
Pat's lost her earlier lead, but is still going strong.
Amanda holds station at third.
Ok, scenic bit over, and as I leave the end of the first lap, here's
the race leader all but done! He's just got to circle the track to
the finish now.
I had thought I could catch the gang again on the second lap, but
I've spent too long faffing about thinking about possible options
that turn out not to be possible, so I soon realise that I'm going
to have to get to the finish proper instead.
Yay! Merilyn's home!
And Pat, miming one of her favourite moves from the Great British
Bake-off, where she gets the KitchenAid going with one hand while
breaking the eggs with the other. (I won't swear this is correct.)
Amanda crosses the line in a time she thinks isn't great, but
certainly nothing shameful.
Hugo tells us afterwards that he somehow misread the clock and
thought it still said thirty-something. Oh well, not much
point in dreaming if your dreams aren't just a little bit
And he's on the line to welcome Anne-Lucie home. She's happy with
her time, taking the view that she runs to enjoy herself, not kill
herself. Is she sure she's a runner? That sounds far too
much like good sense!
Let's make our own podium :-)
Ok, remember I promised earlier we'd have more to say about Mr
Still wearing them, see!
Well, we find him talking to Merilyn, and so join in the
conversation and learn a bit more about his particular brand of
lunacy. Seems he actually holds world records for running in
flip-flops! And plans to go for more, and other weird records too.
Oh, and he's actually well up the field here, faster than any of our
crew and indeed most people in proper shoes.
So let's have a shout out for Pardip Singh Minhas,
https://www.facebook.com/pardipsingh.minhas, who makes mere crazy
people look normal. I mean,
Just to let you know that I will be going for a
Guinness World Record at the Hillingdon Half Marathon 2018 for
Fastest Marathon Whilst Spinning A Fidget Spinner.
Back at the clubhouse our girls share a joke. Something to do with
cake (Merilyn) or daughter's love life (Pat - she's sixteen: of course
her love life is a nightmare!) or maybe just let's do some other
crazy run together!
And it wouldn't a proper Stevie race report without something
totally random to finish. A fishmonger's penguin seems about right.
What? Your fishmonger doesn't have a penguin? Then get you to
Twickenham and be amazed by Sandy's Christmas decs! We were so wowed
by them as we drove North that we had to make a special stop on our
Love to all,