9 July 2017
This turned out to be a real running weekend. After the celebrations of Southampton parkrun’s fifth birthday came the last of the the Wyvern 10k. Commando’s illness meant he had little chance of winning anything but he was still running the race. From the outset it was clear it was going to be a hot one.
The heat meant most of the sensible runners were trying to find whatever shade they could until the race began. Meanwhile there were stretches, warm ups (as if anyone needed to be any warmer) and careful pinning on of race numbers.
The Wyvern 10k starts at Wyvern Technology College in Fair Oak. There are some interesting fields just behind it and I was itching to go for a wander as I have done in the past bu I was supposed to be taking photos for the running club so I stayed on the field instead. Ok, I admit the trip to the ice cream van may have had some bearing on it too. An ice cream was necessary about then though.
The course is an out and back affair, going from the college to Allington Lane, cutting through Fir Tree Lane to Burnetts Lane and then turning around and going back. There is a cheeky hill near the end, not something to be envied on a swelteringly hot day. Not for the first time I was glad I don’t run. It was hot enough standing around with a camera thank you very much. Along with the cheering team, I waited, eyes on the gate where the runners would return.
There was the usual cheering and photo taking for the running club as the runners sped past. The task was made slightly more difficult by my own personal marshal. He followed me up and down the finish straight and seemed to be purposely standing in front of me. Maybe he just wanted his photo taken?
Of course I recognised Commando as soon as he came through the gate. He got my biggest cheer and I was happy to see he looked fairly fresh for someone who’s run over six miles in the baking heat. After all the trials and tribulations of the past couple of months I was proud to bursting to see him running so well, even if he was far slower than he’d have liked. Then again, even at his fastest, he’s never satisfied.
Given the temperature and the fact there was little in the way of shade everyone did well just to finish. The fact that almost everyone was smiling as they crossed the line was nothing short of miraculous. I was exhausted just watching. Oddly quite a few headed straight for the ice cream van. Maybe that’s what all the smiling was about?
The heat was beginning to take its toll by the time the last runner crossed the finish line and both my head and back were aching. When Commando finally finished chatting and directing the race it was a relief to head back to the car.
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