A record of my cycling trips in Britain and abroad


Saturday Sprint (ish)

I woke up this morning to the sound of rain outside my window. My room felt fairly chilly too (though my bedside thermometer was reading 15.7 C), and it was snug and warm under the covers, so I wasn’t feeling that inclined to get up! However, parkrun was calling; and by the time I’d cogitated on the world for a while, and actually risen and dressed, the rain had stopped anyway. It was still chilly on the way though, and I was almost regretting not wearing gloves.

Once at the park (only a 5 minute walk from my house, only a couple of minutes jogging), I did a couple of laps at a slow pace to warm up. Deliberately, I pushed my warmup nearer the start than I usually do, not joining the crowd at the start line until a minute or so before the ‘gun’.

I made the mistake of starting too far back - which I always seem to do at this course. The start is a fairly steep downhill section, and for some reason everyone else seems to want to hang back; to me that feels like a waste. Make the most of the descents! So I felt overly constrained for the first hundred metres or so until I cleared past the slow starters and could stride out. My initial pacing was thrown off by some joker in fluorescent yellow sprinting off, who gave up and walked after 500 m, but after that the race settled down nicely. After the first km the pattern was set, with the leader (not the yellow joker) out in front by quite a margin already, then 2nd, 3rd place and myself a few tens of metres apart. I held my pace, and slowly over the course of the two large laps I reeled in the two chaps ahead of me, finally passing 2nd place with a pleasing effort on the final sprint.

I ended with 19:14. Definitely not slow, I know, but I’m a long way off my year’s target still, and there are less than three months to go!

Postscript: the day turned into a beautifully clear, crisp, early-autumn day by the time I was back at the house and showered. So I had a wander round the park - the slanting sunlight through the trees was spectacular. I wish I’d taken my camera!