Race report from the view of Graham Bardell.
This time last year I was huddled under the tree at the meeting point for the LOSS 10K to shelter from the rain. The weather this year could not have been better, I was standing under the same tree again to stay out of the sun, this was going to be a great race day, I could feel it. No breeze and warm air, bring it on.
The race started at 9:32 sharp. The leading pack crossed onto the blue timing carpet on the “ B” of the Bang, I think I passed over it on the “ G “ of the Bang as once again I was in the middle of the pack. My leading days / legs have gone.
The first Kilometre was flat and was at a nice easy pace for me, not to fast, not to slow and space to move into if needed. Great start i thought.
We moved round Leigh Station and onto Belton Way West.
Familiar territory if you are a JBR Thursday Evening runner. I tried to push the hill knowing that my reward was at the top in the shape of a nice flat run along the top.
We were now running at high altitude and the air was thinner I swear, it certainly was hotter. I was fighting to get those deep breaths and relax.
I looked to the right and could clearly see what looked like a Tropical Canvey Island basking in the October Sun on the Blue and very calm Thames Delta.
A familiar voice carried across the gentle hill top breeze....Go on Graham, looking good mate.....it was Phil Young.....click....he took a photo of me trying to hold it together.
I bet that was a head and shoulders shot I thought....I got new shoes on too....he has missed my efforts to take the prize as the smartest runner on the day. I hope i was smiling at least and not grimacing with my efforts.
Kilometre 3 was all down hill and was back down to sea level. The crowds across the bridge were amazing. Some of the smaller people were held high to get a better view. Some were on the shoulders of tall people cheering the runners along. Go Mum....Go on Daddy were the most familiar shouts on the day.
Every now and then I picked out a “Go On Graham” shout which I was grateful for.
Kilometre 4 and 5 and 6 all merged into one, up a hill, down a hill, round the bend.
My pace was steady, I felt good and even though the crowds a little thin and it was down to the Marshalls to offer encouragement, and encourage they did.
Over the bridge and onto the cobbles of Old Leigh.
Don’t Down fall down here I thought.....keep that head up, knees high and keep that foot firm. Don’t be s**t I could hear Jon Brown shouting in my head.
Kilometre 8 came and went, this is good Graham I thought, the crowd were now beginning to get louder and more vocal.
They must have been up to two deep in places, they certainly were stacked 2 high in places again. Little people were held high like trophies in the sun.
Go on Graham....that was Julie Perrin.....thank you Julie, I looked up the bank by the boat yard, she had her phone in the air, waving and was taking photos....at last.....a full body shot showing off my new shoes.....thank you Julie.
Go on Graham....that was Debi....I heard her but could not see her....I waved at a group of spectators.....she was in there somewhere.
800 meters to go.....I have got this....but I have left my sprint finish behind....I left it behind in my forties if I am honest. It’s just a One Paced Plod now with a lean forward for momentum.
I still have this, I still have this....I have finished....I crossed the finishing line, phew....54.09 was my chip time.
I could not take the cup of Prosecco that was on offer to the finishers as I am taking part in Sober October. One my my other stupid ideas.
All in all I will take that time, slower than last year but as I seem to be In the middle of a falling down season. I will take that.
And as Elton John once said.....Im still standing......my Rocket Man days are behind me. Leigh On Sea 10K.......done.....the medal is hanging.
I waited then for the other JBR Runners to finish, cheering and applauding every one.
One of those finishers was my daughter, she came home with Emma C.
It was Hannah’s turn to take a tumble, the old cobbles claimed her.
I was a proud Dad on Sunday, two Bardell’s finishing the 2017 LOSS 10K.