So, Raceday finally came… and I was excited and nervous as heck about it… Andy (who is evil) made me stay off coffee and Red Bull for 24 hours before the race, which did not help matters! :)
Anyway, we went over to Faelledparken and found our tent, collected our goodies, got into our gear etc… I was running last in the fun team – ‘Deeper and Cheaper’, while the other team was called ‘Faster and Longer’. While these names sound rude, they are innuendo based on the work I do – honest ;) Everybody had a funny name anyway…
Here is a pic of most of the guys in the two teams we entered – for some reason my size shirt was only available in Dark Blue, but that’s cool because it’s WilliamsF1 colours :)
Here is a picture of the starting gate, taken from an overbridge:
Yeah. Lots of people – thousands of them!
Here is a pic of Andy running – with the corporate tents nearby:
He’s just run 4.5km and he is still smiling. B*stard!
So I waited and waited for what seemed like forever, while everyone else went running. We cheered and took pictures of those who came before us, we hid in the tent when the rain came down (really hard) and we congratulated the runners when they returned. Finally, after waiting at the starting gate and repeatedly stretching and warming up, it came around to 8 o’clock and Katrine (my colleague) jogged into view and handed the baton over to me.
So now it was finally happening… a journey that started 3 weeks ago was finally getting to the point… and I set off into my rhythm and started running. I knew that I would be slow, but I was surprised at how slow I was compared to the others. But hey, I’ve gone from nothing to this in 3 weeks and all I wanted to do was complete the course.
The thing is, we were running around a public park, so the course was very tight and kept doubling back on itself and seemingly went around in circles. Here is a map of the route:
Here I am about a kilometre in – you can tell because I am still smiling!
It felt like I was running for ages when I saw the 2km board – and it was really starting to hurt – I hit the dreaded wall. So I stopped for a quick stretch and set off again, running past Parken, by the Triangle, and turning back into the Park near Rigshospitalet. I had set off at sunset and by now it had gotten dark, so it was also a little hard to see. But although I was starting to hurt, I was getting a good rhythm, that is until some idiot walking and talking on his mobile (not in the race) kept blocking my path. I got really annoyed with him and hit him on the arm with my baton shouting “GET THE F**K OFF THE COURSE YOU IDIOT!” to which he looked around and just said “wot???” to me. I was so consumed with the run I got the ‘red mist’ and got angry at him, but it just sounds funny now :)
Next thing I know, I’m running into the final kilometre which means I am running around all the corporate tents. Andy was really good at cheering me on at this point, but because of the backwards and forwards nature of the course it felt like I wasn’t going anywhere – not helped by Andy constantly appearing to take a photo ;)
And yes, it hurts as much as my facial expression says it does :(
Getting closer though – even though it didn’t feel like it! :P
Andy messed up this shot – he’s got one of those proper bulky SLR cameras (very nice though!), but I kinda like the effect it gives – when you are running, you see clearly, but the information is sorta processed like this because you concentrate on your motion rather than what is around you. So in a weird way this pic is kinda symbolic of my run :D
Andy called out 500m to go, and by this time I really wanted it to finish – my feet were numb and I was really tired. But I had to finish – I owed it to myself to do it after all the effort! Every corner I hoped was the last, but it seemed to go on forever until at last – the finish line! I ran under the DHL bridge screaming like Mark Webber that I HAD ACTUALLY DONE IT! I could not believe it! I handed in my time chip and I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry – I was so full of so many different feelings it was unbelievable!
As I drank from a cup of water – the bestest tasting water in the world ever, I realised that I had achieved my goal. I had gone from nothing to running a 5km run in 3 weeks – from a guy that used to hate running! I walked back to our tent with a grin on my face and I felt so proud.
The rest of the night was spent eating BBQ, toasting each other and had a good few drinks before I crashed at Andy’s for the night.
Today? Well, I slept like a log last night – and I’m not so sore today, just a little bit tired. But I feel great about it and all the runners spent the day looking at the pictures and telling everyone the stories. It turns out the other team (the serious one) was fastest in the company and fourth fastest in the group that our company is in – well done guys! :D
So far, the running has been a great journey and I am so happy I started this. I think I will take a week off before my next run – Do you think I have earned it? ;)
Have any of you guys done this sort of thing before? How did you find it and did you keep it up after the event? Should my next challenge be a 2km swim like Andy suggested? :D