Sunday, 29 June 2014

An unpleasant day for a run

I posted a couple of days ago about the poor quality weather we have been having.  After a reasonable day on Friday yesterday returned to ordinary with 11.8mm of rain and strong winds.  Today has delivered less rain (2.6mm so far) still strong winds and the temperature has thus far (13:30) only staggered up to 4.9C.  (That was nearly the maximum: it got to 5.2 at 14:20!)

This made my decision to go to Mt Ainslie for the ACT Veterans Athletics Handicap somewhat difficult, but participating would maintain my stagger towards 100 handicaps completed and maintain my eligibility for awards.

When I arrived I was struck by the number of people wearing down parkas and vests.  Some of them maintained this attire for their run/walk.
The second striking thing was the low number of cars in the parking area.  My estimate was about 50% less than usual for this event.
The starters were dressed for the occasion.  I have never before noticed their clocks being in waterproof covers, but can see it would be sensible on days like this.
To put it mildly the track was not in great condition, although it did remind of school cross country in the UK.  At least there wasn't a ploughed field (nor a paddock full of incontinent bovines) to negotiate!
The pre-event notes mentioned the word "undulation".  Here is the first one.  Possibly due to the amount of clothing I was wearing (full thermals, shorts, tee-shirt and spray jacket) plus the high traction mud I was finding it difficult to get going and didn't mind pausing to take some photos.
Another undulation along the back of Campbell Park offices.  The field was a little spread out and sparser than usual.  Note also the individualist (in black on far RHS of the track) running towards me.  They didn't even have the excuse of running in a series, so could only rely on a defence of weakness of intellect for not being somewhere warmer and drier.
This is not Sir John Franklin, nor Captain Oates, but a former President of the Vets showing his style as he marshalled people up towards the Ainslie-Majura saddle.  Well done for schlepping a full length Driza-Bone that far!
 I used the word 'up' in the previous paragraph.  This image does not do justice to the slope of the 8th kilometre.
 Finally the welcome sight of the finish.  The officials are still wearing their wet and cold weather gear!
I didn't take 85 minutes for the 9.3km: I suspect more like 57 which is still pretty blooming slow.  I will take a leaf from Prone, the physician on the expedition covered by the Ascent of Rumdoodle, and claim to have been suffering from photo-lassitude.

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