Just last week I was sorting out some old T shirts, and one was an ‘original’ yellow Razorlight, bought in 2004 at the first gig I took my then 14 year old son to (supported by the excellent but massively unrecognized Dogs). Little did I know that a few days later one of the songs we heard that night would come true.
It all started so well. The deluge of the night before, that soaked me on the way to stay with Cat and Jon had cleared. We were in plenty of time to get the train from Paddington to Marlow, with a whole host of other runners, and arrived well before the 10.00am start, despite us and most of the people on the train following the leading group in totally the wrong direction after leaving the station.
Warnings about the route was that it wasn’t one where you such expect a PB. There were a few obstacles to be negotiated, gates, steps over bridge, roads to cross and single file tracks in places. However I decided that as my PB wasn’t particularly outstanding and I had a target for a half marathon time this year, I would go for it. Even more importantly, I had a personal pacer, my daughter Cat, who who reigned in her own 1:30 pace to help me. And she did a brilliant job, slowing me down after the logjam of the first half mile had cleared, but moving in front after 5 miles or so to keep me on the required pace.
It was all going so well until at about 8 miles the specter of Johnny Borrell appeared (only metaphorically). My left foot hit the ground too hard, maybe I had just lost concentration, and the title became true. Right knee, elbow and hand met the ground and I was sprawling. The following runners helped me up, Cat realised what had happened and came back to me. I started running again but it was immediately different and difficult. The fall shouldn’t have had that much effect on me, but it did. I completely lost my rhythm, both physically and mentally. No matter how much Cat tried to encouraging then bully me, it didn’t work. Soon my pace had dropped below what was needed and the psychological effect of that was massive. I let Cat get away from me, and thankfully she went on to run her own race. I made it to the end, still in a respectable time under 2 hours, to be greeted by Cat and Jon. They were sympathetic, and know, as I do, there will be another opportunity soon enough.
We made our way into Windsor, past ‘police do not cross’ tape. At the first of these we could see a knife under the arches and at the second a tent with people in forensic covering. Google quickly told us of a stabbing/murder the evening before. We spent a couple of hours drinking cider in the shade of Windsor Castle, playing an interesting ‘game’ I could look back and imagine what the scene would have been like 50 years ago; of course everything about the scene would have been totally unrecognizable from today. But in another 50 years time, when Cat and Jon could possibility be sitting in the same spot, what really big differences would there be. Would it actually be possible to tell the there was a difference between 2013 and 2063. What you be the really big differences? The run, the Purple Patch Down Tow Up Flow half marathon, could not come more highly recommended.
A really interesting route, incredibly well marshaled and a brilliant medal! Thank you.