At the ripe old age of 36 I won the Cambridgeshire County mile last night - in an open race not one just restricted to old farts and people who smell of deep heat and moth balls. In terms of enviable achievements it ranks alongside having the biggest feet in your household, finishing the medium size puzzle of Minesweeper without your boss seeing and the ability to do a serviceable Bruce Forsyth impression.
In the UK a county is a rough equivalent to a US state, so put in those terms it adopts a standing of some importance. However, the days of Seb Coe and Steve Ovett have long gone and perhaps things aren't as they used to be - as the population of our race could be described as a bit of a motley crew. Still, when they dust off the results for the year 2100 celebrations there will be no sidenote and I'll still have my medal - assuming cheap plastic isn't biodegradable of course.
Training up to the race was going pretty well and I'd even had a bizarre side bet of a tennis overgrip (this being a recession and all) that I would break 4:30. That left with me a bit of a dilemna after the first lap which was clocked in 69 seconds. Do I wait behind the leaders and use my speed which would be my best tactics for the win or do I go for a good time and run the risk of not putting myself in the best position finish wise? Dilemna solved with the thought it would be a bit ridiculous to be punching the air having come second and having to explain I'd won an overgrip in a bet, hence the reason for my unbridled joy.
To be honest I can usually track the leaders comfortably for the first couple of laps due to my good speed but I never really felt that comfortable. As one of our club's young juniors correctly observed - "you looked terrible on the 3rd lap". The whole thing was a bit of a struggle and it was a bit of a relief when the final effort came and I kicked past with 200m to go for the win in 4:34.5.
If it'd been a horse race there would have been arse whelts from the whip - having been given a couple of firm reminders on lap 3 that I wouldn't get my oats that evening if I didn't get my head straight and arse into gear. (Typical of my luck that I didn't get my oats anyway). So, not a great time but it was quite windy, I had wine with my meal, I almost followed through on the start line etc, etc......
Next up I might try a 400m at the Watford open meeting next wednesday.