Saturday, February 11

Bushy Park 5K

Eitan keen to qualify for a "mini" marathon which he learned about through school. He does not know much more, like, the distance of the mini marathon. But, today, it is a 5K. The race part of a weekly series run across the UK including Richmond Park. It is well organised, too : I register on the web, print my and Eitan's bar code , which is scanned at the finish-line with results emailed inside the hour.

Temperature -6 degrees when we leave the house : both of us in running shorts and shivering like jello. At line-up it is not much better, either, but when the gun goes we forget the cold. Eitan a capable athlete and  keeps to my shoulder most of the way with a surge at the last 100 meters. Puff. Puff. Puff. We are 77 and 78th place, respectively (the boy in front) out of 725 ; our time : 20 minutes, 42 seconds.  Me, I am over the moon to run without injury. And a race? I am like 30 all over again.

Afterwards we discuss pace, timing and strategy. Eitan pleased with himself in a bashful-confident sort of way. As for the mini marathon : who knows? but I assume his time qualifies but, since Eitan does not know this crucial detail , either, he will have to wait and see.

"You find out a lot about yourself through athletics. If you're cut out to be a winner or a failure or a quitter, athletics will bring it out of you. You're always stripping yourself down to the bones of your personality. And sometimes you just get a glimpse of the kind of talent you've been given. Sometimes I run and I don't even feel the effort of running. I don't even feel the ground. I'm just drifting."
--Steve Ovett, Middle distance runner for Great Britain