Running round and round in circles for six hours.
So the other day (in Pete’s blogging cadence anyway) I got pinged to go run some relay thing in the park at Stromovka. In my head relay pretty much equates to easy, just for fun, type of thingy so I said yes and thought no more of it. Friday night came and went and we had a few beers, and a few more, as one does of a Friday evening. Saturday morning was fun, we had a new bread maker to play with and then as lunch time approached I thought I probably ought to start thinking about the run and possibly getting a bit rehydrated.
So I roll up to the park to meet my team and discover that we are three, not four, that the target for the team 6 hours and that one of my team-mates has a dodgy knee. Some quick running pace calculations in my head later and I’ve worked out I’m about to run slightly more than a half marathon in four kilometre chunks with forty minute rests in between. No taper weeks, no carb loading, no carb layering, no three day hydration programme. In fact at this point all I’ve consumed for the day is two slices of toast and two bottles of powerade and it’s now one o’clock in the afternoon. I also have no idea how my body is going to react to the stopping and starting running which I’ve never done before. And it’s hot.
In the end we ran 67k between three of us, my contribution, by fluke of the running order, being 24k. Running round and round the park in two kilometre loops was actually not so bad, it’s a nice park and it was a lot less traumatic than running 21k on a treadmill which I once did in Hangzhou (it gets very hot outside). For the running geeks the track is here.
I’m not entirely sure what the event was in aid of. It appears to have been inspired by, if not started by some Indian guru guy. My mate said “it’s not some evil cult or anything” and that’s good enough for me.
We were just the tourists though, there to make up the numbers. The real runners were doing individual 6-hour or 12-hour runs in two kilometre loops, round and round the park. Respect. And some food for thought…