Jude the no longer obscure! (AKA Two Turks Heads are better than one)
It's Amanda's second Turks Head 10k, but Bernie's other half,
Judith, is running her first ever 10k today, so our story
will mainly focus on her. She's certainly chosen a more scenic route
and better weather than Amanda did for her first, Chessington, back
in February 2008!
John Starbrook, who at 87 is the oldest runner taking part in the London Marathon on Sunday, trains so much that his family have threatened to set fire to his shoes.
And they're off!
I do see Amanda in the melée, but it's not a terribly photogenic angle, so I won't bother with the picture. I'm not that surprised that I miss Bernie and Judith, because he's one of a million people in the same Bearcat top and I simply don't know her well enough to pick her out in a crowd easily.
Last year, after waiting for the entire field to pass, I wasn't able to overtake the front runners before the footbridge at Teddington Lock. This year, obviously I'm more familiar with the event and the route, so can I make it?
(Best not to ask!)
Nope, the front guys are just too fast for words. See the tiny little red dot at the left hand end of the bridge? That's number 2. It is, however, worth pointing out that there is a second 'lead' bike for the guys who are merely fast fast, and he's still well behind me here.
Ok, I'm going to get a bit angry now...
[Things can sometimes get a bit out of hand on social media, so on reflection I've taken out the picture I had here and censored the following text.]
See the runner who thinks the dog is in their way and quite deliberately kicks it as they pass? Fortunately for you, number XXX, the event entry list does not include number allocations, otherwise I would name and shame you. This is just not necessary. You know who you are.
I don't think the dog is injured, but certainly distressed, as are its owners. It's quite a while before they feel able to continue crossing the bridge.
Ok, back to happy thoughts again, here's Amanda. I'm going to wait for Bernie and Judith now, so this may be the only time we'll see her in the race as I may not be able to get ahead of her again before the end.
Who is Moon Bear Hero?
Well, actually, that's another story about animal welfare: https://www.animalsasia.org/
I'm not sure whether she's keen to promote her cause or just an exhibitionist. Or is it simply the effect I have?
Well it seems to work on Bernie too!
Judith is more demure; but like I say, I don't know her that well yet.
And off they go together.
Now, I'm going to stay here for a bit and continue taking photos of the runners, but I should be able to get ahead of them again without trouble, if not ahead of Amanda.
To Richmond Bridge, and while I didn't think it likely that I'd make it in time for Amanda, a tactical mistake in my choice of route absolutely guaranteed it. But they seem pleased to see me anyway.
And so do they!
Entering the final straight before the final bend.
Triumph! Crossing the line! She's done her first 10k!
"Did you enjoy that?"
"I'll think about it."
"But I shall channel my inner Amanda and do a star jump like her!"
Truth to tell, the real thing isn't quite that exuberant, but then it's not Amanda's first ever 10k, so a slightly more sedate look is to be expected.
Now, for ten points, what has running got to do with Shetland ponies?
Well absolutely nothing, of course, except that the "Riding for the Disabled Association" charity has a team running and a stall, and they've brought along Dolly to provide maximum "aaahh" factor. She is mostly far more interested in the Twickenham grass than her adoring public, and this is about as posed for the camera as she gets.
We pootle home along the towpath and then through Home Park to check out the swans,
Dew Pond is swanless, but Amanda thinks I ought to pose for a picture for the blog. Well who am I to argue?!
But we find a mother with her babies on one of the park's many others, so we will end on yet more "aaahhh" factor.
So once again, well done Judith, and I hope this will be a nice little reminder of your day of glory!
Love to all,
PS: Yes, I know I should have done the Dorking 10 report already, but the rest of you are all hardened racers, so you'll forgive me for prioritising the new girl on the block.