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Did you know that "Vile Pear" is an anagram of "Perivale"?

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 man!

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 look closely.

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 Ruislip Road.

So here's Amanda, then, looking far better than the back end of a bus :-)

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.

Then Hugo.

And Anne-Lucie.

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 unrealistic :-)

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 Flipflop?

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,, 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 return.

Love to all,


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