Whitstable 10K

  • Saturday, May 16, 2015
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So can these shoes take me to
Who I was before
I was stabbing my sticks into
A vulnerable earth

And I can almost out run you
And those stalking memories
Did I somehow become you
Without realizing

Found a little patch of heaven now
So then I'm gonna turn oysters in the sand
Cause I'm working my way back
I'm working my way back to me again
(Tori Amos)
 


Whitstable is famous for it's Oysters, those slimy bivalve molluscs we love to eat and a close analysis of a British map will reveal it's the nearest seaside town to the South of London. Recently I ran the Whitstable 10K with 750 of my closest friends. Lining up in the usual restless, sweaty and farting organism that comprises a race start I looked over to my right and spotted the tall, tangle haired figure of one of the best, Michael, who took the above photo at the finish. We had time for a quick chat before the gun sounded and he ran off into the distance to record a fast time. The start was slightly soured for me as some big swinging dick violently shoved me from behind and then hurled an expletive over his shoulder at me as he went past my stumbling form. Totally unnecessary because I was running straight and minding my own business.
Shrugging him off I got into the race itself which turned into what you would expect from a seaside course in late spring, warm, windy and mostly flat, ideal running conditions. I was quickly into a relaxed and mellow stride which ensured the first three miles along Marine Drive came and went with ease. At the three mile mark we turned for the inward leg along the beach front and this became the best part of the race for me. I love running along the coast, I was warm and fluid and we were running up a long, gentle incline with the sea to my right and crowds to the left.
One of the big differences between trail running and road running is that on the trails you have to remain focused and in the moment all the time, you can't afford to make mistakes on twisty, knarly trails. On flat pavement you can relax and put your mind in neutral. I prefer the engagement of the trails, I need the stimulation and the sharpness. This was a race I really enjoyed though, running with a friend it was an easy prelude to a summer of running.


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