Wednesday 24 December 2014

The one where Mark stops writing in the third person

The first time that Tommy, Adrian and I competed together after the wager was made, it was a disappointment.  It was my first Parkrun back following my time out from exercise mentioned in a previous post, and I declared that I would be deliberately taking it slow, so as not to do myself any further injuries.  This was partially true, but a bigger contributing factor was me not wanting to show how much pace I'd lost.

With that disclaimer, it meant that it was a straight race between Adrian and Tommy to determine who was the favourite for the #Roadtosub20 crown.  In truth though, there was no race.  Tommy easily claimed victory in a time of 21.43 with Adrian a minute and fifteen seconds behind.  A realistic benchmark, or just a bad day at the office for Adrian?  The second race would surely be closer...

It was...but only just.  Two weeks later and Brockwell Park was the venue for the second 'three man shootout'.  I turned up with a dreadful cold, and naively assumed that I could still run a PB...I couldn't and I spent the rest of the day in bed, regretting my decision.  Adrian was out for revenge, but could only manage to finish 65 seconds behind Tommy who stormed home in exactly 21 minutes.

This has put Tommy as favourite for the title, but leaves him with an interesting dilemma: the nature of the bet means that the longer it runs, the bigger the prize (rules here).  So it is in Tommy's interest to delay his attempt to the very last moment he can.  In theory, the perfect tactic is to identify that a competitor will break the 20 minute mark, and then slip in a week before and do it.  Of course, this is a risky strategy, but the ball is in his court.

I mentioned in a previous post that this bet might be all over by Christmas.  Given I'm typing this on the 24/12, then that won't happen.  However, it is looking like spring/summer of 2015 is a realistic target for all three men to break the 20 minute barrier.

Merry Christmas to all the runners out there.  And to Tommy: have another mince can afford to.

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