Sunday, April 18, 2010

54 minutes 56 seconds...

...is how long it took me to cover the 10 km of the Phakalane Gaborone Marathon 10 km run. I am amazed! Obviously it helps to start smoking - adds the speed...Almost exactly two years ago I did the Vienna Half Marathon (on the day that the dreadful Fritzl story broke) I took 2 hours 2 minutes, or about 5.46 minutes per km; today it was 5.27 minutes. I suspect the official statistics may show a different figure; the starting time was counted from well before we in the rear guard crossed the starting line, and I am not sure how accurately the end statistics were recorded. Statistics, eh? But I had set my stopwatch precisely on the moment of crossing each line.

It helped me that there was a big field of 2000 (two weeks after the Vienna marathon I ran in a 10k race in Vilnius and gave up - the field was small and I was last the minute I stepped over the starting line I was last). Took the first half kilometre to get past the walkers and the slower ones, and after that it was ok - there were other people around but we were not tripping over each other. Some children were running barefoot...

I felt sorry for the 120 (full) marathon runners, though. That is not a big number....Watched the first 15 or so come in; the winner in a far from worldbeating time - but if a guy is running on his own it is boring, and there is no challenge other than himself. And a few minutes later the second, and so on. We waited for a long time for the first woman to arrive; again, whenever she did, it was not a record-beating time; we left because we were getting hungry. On the way home the remaining field, of about 100 people was spread out over a distance of maybe 15 km, with a gruelling 10 km of straight road to follow near the end. That must have been very very lonely!

My two friends did very well; one had never run the distance before and was worried about it, the other thought he would take 1.5 hours... in fact both came in shortly after me, within the hour (according to our timing rather than the organizers' timing). And the whole hash team finished the route very nicely.

Where is the next run?