Dennis the Menace
Storm Dennis, closely following storm Ciara, has wiped out many
parkruns and races this weekend, but our choices have been lucky
ones. Wimbledon parkrun was muddy but not impossibly so, and the
Chessington Valentine's 10k is definitely on.
"Oh, we're halfway there, Oh-oh, livin' on a prayer!"
This spot isn't particularly attractive, but it's easily accessible from the race HQ, and for some years it was basically the place I went that wasn't the start or finish lines. Now when there is no cloud, this shot is pretty much right into the sun and essentially impossible technically, which has been the case in several years but not this one.
From a human point of view, it's actually starting to get a bit yucky, but it does make life easier for the camera. I remember seeing a studio lighting accessory described in a catalogue as being like "a cloudy day in a box", which fairly obviously was meant as a good thing in context.
Now, for the first time ever, I am continuing to follow the race route rather than heading straight back to the finish. This is partly out of curiosity, but also because Merilyn and Amanda are close enough that I am fairly sure I can get them both along here and still be back to the finish in time. Previous years, either I was still learning about the logistics, or we've had more of the crew spread out over more of a distance and I've needed to get to the finish line sooner.
In all honesty, I may not do it again, though. It's not exactly what you'd call scenic.
So here's Merilyn finishing. She's on the cusp of a PW, but isn't sure because she presssed 'start' on her watch before crossing the timing mat, and therefore doesn't really know her true chip time.
The maybe-PW is not because she hasn't been trying: she will now proceed to dry-retch in a way that has a marshal very concerned, but that's our Merilyn: why push to your limit when you can push a bit further?!
Amanda's also on for a potential PW, but reckons she's just beat it.
Incidentally: to the right, you see the official photographer. Remember I said that in the early days when I didn't know anyone or anything, I'd just take a few shots at the start and the finish? Well that, I'm afraid, is what this guy is doing. AIUI, he's a volunteer, not a professional, but even so, he's got some serious (ie, expensive) kit and you'd think he wouldn't have bought it if he didn't want to use it.
We can't speak for anyone else, obviously, but neither of us think Amanda's official photos are must-have, even though they're free.
Amanda lent a spare inhaler to Merilyn's asthmatic friend, whose name I must apologise for forgetting. As you can deduce from the fact that she's not just finished but got changed as well, she's <expletive deleted> fast despite the asthma. Our local Paula Radcliffe it would seem!
So these two are Lindsay Rice and Jenny Cooney (assuming I've looked up their numbers correctly) who obviously have mistaken me for somebody official and asked me to take their picture. I explain that I am actually that woman over there's husband, but I will post a link on the Stragglers' Facebook page.
More strange women... WIth Love Hearts, no less!
But what's this?
Oh, it's the Stragglers team photo!
Amanda rushes to join them just in time.
There's a lot of them! It looks like a good chance they'll have won the mob match, and so it will turn out to be.
Remember it's Merilyn's birthday?
I have made some little cakes.
Not that we would wish to stereotype our Merilyn in any way, but if the cap cake fits...?
Love to all,