It must have been the last song I listened to the night before. Dire Straits’ Sultans of Swing just played away in my head throughout yesterday’s 10k. There are playlists out there for runners, those that like to listen to music as they run. To my knowledge these lists don’t normally include Mark Knopfler and the boys.
Check out Guitar George, he knows all the chords, he’s strictly rhythm, he don’t wanna make it cry or sing…
This was the fourth year of the charity Headway’s 10k race around a flat and fast course up by the airport. A rather disappointing field of just over 100. For some reason Jersey’s many casual runners and joggers have stopped entering races leaving pretty much the hardcore. The morning is perfect for running and I’ve chosen my Jersey Spartan AC vest as we head off around the cycle track before heading out onto the airport road. Again I’m feeling confident enough to aim for sub-50 minutes which I know will put me up there with the better veteran runners, but of course miles behind the young whippets.
They’ve done a good job in these parts, providing safe pedestrian and bike facilities along the busy road and it’s along here we head on the outrun. There’s a guy, Tony Hancock, who is generally ahead of me in races. It’s early days but I slip by him as we head into the leafy lanes of St Peter.
A crowd of young boys are fooling around in the corner, drunk and dressed in their best brown baggies and their platform soles
The marshals are great, they usually are in Jersey. They actually look as if they’re enjoying the occasion, encouraging us runners and keeping us safe. I do my best to acknowledge each as we go by, I wish everyone did. We gradually circle and start to head back. I’m doing OK, bang on my planned pace thanks partly to Knopfler’s genius. Through St Peter’s Village and around the airport perimeter. I pass three guys running together. They annoyingly latch on to me for the ride but it brings out my inner racing animal as I accelerate away, create a gap, and see them no more. I love racing!
Inevitably the running cruise turns eventually into hard work and I have to begin recruiting the tricks you learn along the way to keep the pace up. A mile or two to go – remember Tony from earlier? I glance back, see his bright red and yellow vest right there and speed across the roundabout outside the airport to put a few metres between us again.
Another glance at the watch. OK, and I know I can generally hold onto my pace in the closing stages. If anyone comes by me they’ll have to run well. They don’t. Onto the cycle track and a few hundred yards to the finish. 49.40 for second place in the M60 category, and 46th out of 105 overall, with which I am well pleased.
They don’t give a damn about any trumpet-playing band, it ain’t what they call rock ‘n roll.