So, some people out there may have heard that I completed in the Bristol 10k – this is very true. I was running as a part of Team Brisfest, to help promote the festival, which is taking place in September up at the Ashton Court estate. I must admit, I was feeling pretty ropey, because it was happening the morning after the Rave On Avon Stokes Croft take over, which meant that I got hardly any sleep whatsoever.
I rocked up in my jeans and clod-hoppers, coming face-to-face with the Brisfest crew, who were all wearing the proper running gear. I was feeling a little shaky, gingerly swigging a bottle of water and feeling like my brain was hanging out of my head (this is my normal state) and I was the only member of the team that did not have an official registration number or time chip; but despite this, I was in a chipper mood. I was being my usual sarcastic self as we were warming up and set myself some pace-makers (who ever I could see and potentially beat), you see I have a secretive competitive streak, so I knew I had to beat the fun runners, like the guy dressed as tree with gammy leg, Tigger and The Cricket team, all of whom looked like they had actually done some training! I had taken the really relaxed attitude to the 10k. In fact, the only form of training I had done was sprinting from venue-to-venue at Simple Things and dancing like a maniac.
We also posed for photos, all of our running shirts had our names and Brisfest printed all over them and on the backs we had our individual letter so that when we were put together in order it spelled Brisfest. While readying ourselves we saw the Kenyan team cross the finishing line 29mins 30 sec, averaging under three mins per km. I was getting myself all psyched up with my iPod on random shuffle, warming up to The Magic Band and I could feel energy searing through me as I started to become the human version of the Duracell bunny!
All of a sudden we were off – I crossed the starting line, my legs pounding like tree trunks, at what I thought was a pretty steady speed. My iPod seemed to be hitting 90bpm alt hip hop, with Jake the Rapper, Death Grips and B Dolan starting off the soundtrack for my clumping feet, matching each of the beats as I over took people left right and centre. I could hear cheering left right and centre and this really did put wind into my sails. I pushed myself as hard as I could and flew round the first 5k as if I was Forest Gump, leaving all the Brisfest team in my wake, even the ones who had properly trained…it took them till the 6k mark to catch up with me!
I was spurred on by the Heart FM presenters giving me a shout out, before turning into Forest Slump. I can remember thinking to myself “ha ha suckers” as I left the Brisfest team in my blaze, but it took until the 6k mark to catch the faster more well trained. I was passing people who were running for some pretty serious causes and I was running to raise the awareness of a festival, but I guess the festival does provide joy to people!
My body began to tire after rattling along the bottom of Hotwells Road and down the Portway and the race really began to take its toll as I tried to run up the slopes. I slowed down and began walking at a fast pace, I think this may have been because my iPod rhythm had been broken with some Grindcore, which did not help my flailing body as I trudged over the fly over and trundled down past Spike Island. I think this is where I could have done with some training, as I pretty much trotted down, trying to raise my speed as my strength drained away and my energy was sapped. Not even the Heart FM guys could really do anything to raise my energy levels as I staggered into the centre and around the corner before pegging it through the last 200 yards – crossing the finishing line in roughly an hour (I say roughly an hour because I was not given a timing tag or an official number).
This is one of the new achievements for me this year – and a special one at that, as I had not run since I was in school; not bad for a fat git in clod-hoppers and jeans. I congratulated all of my friends for finishing the run and re-joined the Brisfest team. Crossing the finishing line made me feel like Zeus and I did not belly flop over the line, in fact, had I done some training then I may well have been as fast as the Kenyans. Who knows?!
I even phoned up my parents who were stunned that I even finished the run, let alone within an hour, I now have the medal to show for it, along with my sweaty t-shirt and my hoodie. Team Brisfest posed for photos with our medals, and left me feeling really proud!