Monday 23 February 2015

Sticky wickets and swinging conditions

On Saturday 14th February, Adrian crossed the line at Hilly Fields parkrun some distance ahead of Tommy and I.  What's more, he had achieved a significant milestone, and one that was worth celebrating.

Adrian celebrating, in the only appropriate way

All will become clear, but first, let me take you back a couple of steps.

Anyone who has spent any extended period of time in my company will know that I am a fan of cricket.  However, like most other sports that I try my hand at, I can, at best, be described as an enthusiastic amateur.  In spite of this, I've kept at it for more than 20 years with highs (a handful of game changing bowling spells) and lows (being beaten by a kitten in the captaincy election for my club).  In fact, my life through my twenties could be described as the quest for three sporting achievements:
  1. Completing a round of golf in less than 100 shots (achieved - last year after an imperious 94)
  2. Running a 5k in less than 20 minutes (not achieved - as this blog will testify)
  3. Scoring 50 runs in a cricket match (not achieved - despite a few close efforts)
As far as I am concerned, I cannot depart this Earth until all three of these have been ticked off.

In a sense, Adrian mixed a couple of these achievements into one on Valentine's day, by completing his 50th parkrun.  He had been holding off on running parkruns, until he could do it his spiritual running home (the aforementioned Hilly Fields - which, incidentally, is both hilly and muddy).

To use cricketing terminology, he made his half century, raised his bat, acknowledged applause from the crowd, re-marked his guard, and set about patiently building a big score.

Fittingly, he beat Tommy and I, with all three of us struggling with the underfoot conditions.  But even he could only manage 23.08.  

A long way to go until the sub 20 promised land, but Adrian's domination continues.

Friday 13 February 2015

Road to Sub 25

For the past couple of weeks I have been the only one of the Road to Sub 20 trio that has been participating in parkruns.  Adrian has declined to take part, for reasons too complex to go into here, and Tommy has been laid up after sustaining a knee injury from his fall at Peckham.

To be honest, there's nothing particularly exciting about this...I've run a couple of decent PBs and it's allowed me to get closer to the competition.  But that is about all to report.

So last Saturday, attention moved to a less well publicised challenge.  Regular readers of this blog may have read between the lines and deciphered that Tommy, Adrian and I all have partners.  These are patient souls who put up with the three of us discussing tactics, statistics and any other nerdy items that take our fancy.

The WAGs (or, in truth FWAGs, ever since one of them became a fiance), also take part in parkruns to a greater or lesser extent, and over the New Year holiday discussed a little side challenge, dubbed with the working title of Road to Sub 25.  It won't surprise the reader to learn that the task is to run a parkrun in less than 25 minutes.

Despite the boys trying to encourage an element of competition to it, Road to Sub 25 is strictly a friendly affair...or so it seems to the the casual observer.  You see, I live with one of these ladies, and I have first hand experience of how competitive she is.  I also have my suspicions about the other two being just as keen to win.

And so, there was some excitement as I lined up alongside the FWAGs, at my local park run in Brockwell Park with Tommy and Adrian on the sidelines cheering us on.

As we usually see, competition drives strong performance, and in this instance it brought the best out of the ladies, with a combined total of 4 minutes and 29 seconds taken of their PBs.

The FWAGs post race
I'm pleased to say that my partner was the first of the three to cross the cross the line, in a time of 25.55, so at least one of us is performing well in our competition.

The questions is, will the Sub 25 challenge be achieved before the Road to Sub 20?  The answer: probably.