On Sunday, when thousands were taking part in the Great North Run, I popped down to Chiswick for a little run of my own - a 10k fun run which was part of Yellow Umbrella Day. I'd never actually done an organised 10k before, and it was great fun. As it was a fun run, the route was apparently 'just over' 10k, and there were a few points where we had to climb great big flights of steps to get on and off bridges and whatnot - I'm using those as excuses for the fact that I didn't quite manage to hit my target of running it in under an hour! Instead I managed 1:00.24 - gutted!
There were plenty of people from my running club there, which was great to see - here we all are before the start!
After the race, there was a company offering free five-minute sports massages to the runners, so I had one - blimey did it HURT, but it was brilliant! I wish I could afford to have regular massages - although they did give me a voucher for a one-hour massage for £30, which I think I'll definitely use at some point.
Then last night I went over to the City for a talk by Micah True, otherwise known as Caballo Blanco. I read Born to Run by Christopher McDougall a while ago and found it really interesting - the book is all about ultra-long-distance running, but it focuses particularly on the Tarahumara tribe and their incredible talent for running, and on the year a group of American runners joined the Tarahumara for an ultramarathon through the Copper Canyon - a race that had been started several years previously by the mysterious Caballo Blanco. It was a fascinating talk, all about how Micah got into long-distance running, how he met the Tarahumara and how he wanted to reconnect them with their running heritage. He's a very humble and self-effacing character, and it was great to hear more from his side - about the way his annual race helps the Tarahumara (he provides corn and money as prizes, with everyone who completes the race receiving 500lbs of corn) and about the challenges they face from the encroaching modern world. If you're into running and you have the chance to go and hear him speak, I'd recommend it!