Monday, 7 July 2008

London calling

My holiday weekend was filled with running, a family reunion and.....the Union Jack?

Saturday I took the train to London and met my sister Z at the airport. I booked us a hotel room in London for the night, so we didn’t have to wake up at an ungodly hour to make it to the Asics British 10K London Run the next day.

Sunday morning dawned with gray skies and an uncertain weather report. We made our way to the baggage drop-off site before heading to the start. My sister, videographer that she is, filmed me most of the way with her huge professional video camera. People kept doing double-takes, no doubt wondering if I was famous. Their disappointment after realizing I was not was palpable.

There was no chip timing at this race nor were there corrals at the start. Timing was left up to me and my little sports watch. Without anyone like Imhotep to pace myself off of I knew that this was not going to be a PR for me, so instead I chose to just enjoy myself. I ended up roughly in the middle of the start-up line, though I could see the two gigantic Union Jack flags hanging above the starting line quite clearly from my position. Z stayed with me until about 15 minutes before the official start time then she made her way to the other side of the road to await the next photo op.

The starting line double-backed on itself, so we got to cheer on the elite runners as they passed on by. It took me almost twenty minutes to cross the start line myself. I waved at Z as I ran by, making my way from the corner of Hyde Park and Piccadilly onto Pall Mall. Just as I approached Trafalgar Square, the heavens opened. It rained off and on throughout the race but never more than ten minutes at a time.

Z very kindly lent me her Elph camera to take photos with while on the course. My own camera is too bulky to carry while running, but hers fit very conveniently into my bra when I no longer wanted to carry it in my hand. This probably means I should buy a new bra, but oh well.

I managed to miss getting photos of some of the more interesting costumes people were sporting, like the two brave souls in rhino suits. But I was blessed with the most perfect timing to take this photo.

Ladies, you’re welcome.

I actually tried to keep pace with Mr. Bubble Butt but that only lasted about a half a mile. He was very motivating though.

A good chunk of the course was on Embankment, so I got plenty of blurry shots of the London Eye and the river Thames. We ran across and back over Westminster Bridge then made our way around Parliament, Big Ben and Westminster Abbey before heading to the finish at Whitehall. I saw Z right near the finish, her trusty camera at the ready. I waved like a lunatic before rounding the corner to the finish line. I clocked myself at just over 64 minutes. Not bad considering how often I eased my pace to take photos.

The London Eye

Big Ben and Parliament

Westminster Abbey

I headed back over to the baggage claim area, retrieved my backpack and got my finisher’s bag. British cheapness struck again as all I took home was a small container of lip balm, pen, granola bar and my medal. I really need to find a race with some decent loot. This is getting ridiculous.

Making my way to Trafalgar Square post-race

I met Z at Trafalgar Square and headed back to the hotel so I could take a quick shower before check out. We took the train from Paddington back to town and spent a relaxing evening at home chatting and watching movies.

Z has an early flight to catch today, so I am going to walk her to the bus station this morning before I head out to the excavation. We’re both bummed that her visit was so short, but we should be seeing each other again in August at some point, so it’s not too bad.

On a side note, I’m pretty happy that this post has ended up being my 100th on this blog. I’ve come a long way from writing about random drivel to focusing on my obsession with running and increasing my general fitness. With some pretty pictures thrown in for good measure, of course.

Thanks to all of you for stumbling across my blog and, for whatever reason, deciding to stick with me. I’ve enjoyed your company immensely.

Ci vediamo dopo.


RazZDoodle said...

Look kids, Big Ben! Parliament! Congrats on the race and the centurian post. It's been fun reading.

p.s. - I don't suppose you managed to steal your sister's camera. I need to upgrade. :)

Marcy said...

Ooooo so many things to say! First HAPPY 100!! Here's to many more! You're blog is always one of the firsts on my list. You are too funny!

Second, thank you for the male butt shot LOL. Dude had killer tan lines. Wonder if his front was as good as the back :P

Third, WTF?!?! Are you serious?!? You didn't get a race shirt . . .again?!? Damn them!!!

And last but not least, Loved the pics chica and a MOST excellent time considering that you took all those pics. I would have to stop and take 5 minutes fumbling around LOL

Ok now that I've typed out a novel I think I'm done :P

Viv said...

Congrats on the 100th post! You are right it was a great post to clain the 100th. I think you did wonderful on that 10K and were able to stop and take pics of the "scenery"!!!
No shirt and you flew to London UGH!

Merry said...

Congratulations on reaching the Century mark! I'm so proud of all you've accomplished.
That's the great thing about having a record of all these posts: you can look back and see how far you've come even though it didn't always feel like you were making progress at the time.
applause, confetti, cheers from the crowd of admirers...

Non-Runner Nancy said...

Oh man, that looks like a cool race with all the sights. And the landmarks too. hee hee. What was that guy thinking??

Glad you had a good visit.

Happy 100 - always love your posts!!

Anonymous said...

Good thing it was so rainy...bubble butt could've gotten burned...ouch! =P

Congrats on 100! I'm new to you blog and I have to say I love it! Thanks for sharing!

Viper said...

Congrats on a good race and your 100th post.

Coincidentally, I'm reading the newest James Bond book and it mentions all the same landmarks you ran past. Thanks for the illustrations. Except the one.

FYI, the gentlemen feel left out. So not only are you unpatriotic, you're sexist too.

Running Knitter said...

Looks like it was a great race with all the famous sites. Can't believe that guy ran like that! LOL!

Congrats on the 100th post!

The Laminator said...

Totally loved the post and the pictures. Congrats on your 100th! Great race, considering you were more of a landmark papparazzi than a runner during most of it.

Nitmos said...

NIce job. I think you may need to go for the 1/2 or full marathons if you want a decent goody bag. A lot of 5 and 10k's cheap out.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations!!! Why didn't you smack his naked bottom and say 'atta boy! as you ran by him? Scratch that, why didn't Z do it? You know she would have and with my encouragment (if i were there)

P.O.M. said...

Waiiiiit a minute! He ran naked? Did you get a shot of the front? Wasn't it cold? So many questions.

P.O.M. said...

Oh yeah - good job on the race. I was still thinking about that naked guy, I forgot to congratulate you. oops.

Lily on the Road said...

hahaha, P.O.M., crack me up!!

Happy 100th! Glad you have 'focused' oh, yes and on running too!

Thanks for the pic's I haven't been to foggy ole London town in a long time!

Theresa said...

Woohoo, congratulations!!! It is so cool that you're running 10Ks. And taking pictures of neekid guys!

If you want loot, you should come up here and run the BUPA winter run next January!

chia said...

Awwww I miss those sites so much (both the scenery and fine Brit-ass)!!! Thanks girly!

Frayed Laces said...

Dude I am so running in the wrong place. The only "alternative" running clothes I see on dudes are grass skirts.

Meg said...

Happy 100th! Cool race, I liked your pictures!
On the bright side of the no-shirt deal, I don't think many 10K's over here give out medals!