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My Runny Valentine

That doesn't sound quite right, does it...?

Ok, it's the Valentine's 10k run in chilly Chessington. We've had just about every weather variation over the years and today is neither the best nor the worst, but it's definitely on the nippy side at two or three degrees C.

It's nice enough inside, though. Definitely one of the better race HQs.

Even Pat's feeling the cold. I thought she'd be relieved that she'd not be in danger of overheating, but perhaps this is too much of a good thing.

The start has been changed for some reason. In the past, it's been within the industrial park on the other side of the hedge, but even then it's rarely been exactly the same two years in a row. This time? Dunno. Maybe the park has new management or something, because they've also shut a pedestrian gate that everyone's always used in the past.

But back to the runny stuff itself. Note well the figure on the left: Scot Overall with bib number 1. Favourite for the race and allegedly well up for a course record. Amanda tells me he's been training in Bermuda of late, which must be just the thing to prepare him for the British winter.

Away they go. For technical reasons (yeah, ok, camera setting cockup on my part) I have no decent shots of Amanda and Pat setting out.

Now, I've always thought this part of the Chessington route consists entirely of an uninspiring surburban road, but look what I've found by walking a little further down from the spot I've used in the past.  I should confess, though, that while the camera is most certainly not lying, it is telling rather less than the whole truth, and just a little more context would spoil the rural effect.

And here comes our Mr O, clearly in a race of his own. This is just a bit before the previous rustic location.

And there he goes on the other side of it.

Hmm... when I said "a race of his own", I didn't realise quite how far he was ahead! This is not a trick, there really is nobody else in sight a minute later! In the end, the results will show that although he doesn't actually break the record after all, he's almost three whole minutes clear of the rest.

Second place is a bit more keenly fought :-)

Two of these guys will finish within the same second, and the third only just behind. But it has to be said that today they really are fighting to be first of the losers...

First lady doesn't seem to be feeling the cold!

And another half-dressed hussy! Blimey, it's getting like Saturday night in Bradford round here!

(Of course, on Saturday night in Bradford they don't need to run to keep warm because they have plenty of natural insulation. (Miaow!))

I'm not sure he approves.

At least Amanda is more appropriately attired.

I run up the hill with her, but after a hundred metres or so, the novelty wears off so I leave her to it.

Damn! Is she going to be pipped at the post again?

'Fraid so. Bah humbug. Not a great time, but the cold is not at all asthma friendly and she's been told in no uncertain terms by the doctor to be sensible in such cases. The good news is her knee hasn't given any trouble. Now how about a nice flat 10k in the spring when it's a bit nicer? Definitely up for that!

Like moths to a flame? Or women to chocolate!

There's a healthy banana too, of course.

But we'll leave you with the true Spirit of the Valentine's 10k.

Love (of the wholly uncommercial sort, I must stress) to all,


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