In June, at my brother’s birthday party, a decision was made to enter him in to a 10k race. At the time it was a good idea, a good bit of motivation to get out the door and do some targeted training. We strategically picked a race that was localish, fast, flat and far enough in to the future to allow for a reasonable amount of training. And as such, we were entered in to the Blackpool Air Show 10k.

A few weeks later I talked to Nick, and he was in as well. We almost had a four, but a last minute injury (ironically at a Parkrun the day before) stopped our fourth from coming.

The week before, I check in to see how brother’s training was progressing. It hadn’t. As in none had occured. On top of that, he’d broken a finger in a car door, which made a convenient excuse to avoid training. Well at least he hadn’t broken a leg.

One week to go, can we get him in a fit enough condition to run a 10k race? We lost the first few days, but Wednesday saw me banging his door down at 7am. Our of the door, we took a 5k route that included a short hill, and a good downhill section. First run was hard work, but he finished it.

Thursday was the same route and a little bit faster. Friday we were joined by Nick, and it was a little faster again, with less rests.

Saturday we dragged him to Bolton Parkrun. Nick and I have been doing these whenever we have a free Saturday morning. They’re great, no pressure, timed runs. Some people run with dogs, others push pushchairs. Despite it including two climbs up a hill nick-named “Cruella”, brother finished in under 40 minutes.

Sunday was race day. With an 11am start, we had a practically leisurely start to the morning, and arrived in plenty of time to pick up race numbers and head to the start. Overcast, and a little nippy, conditions were probably better than a bright and hot summer’s day. The route was straightforward, down the road adjacent to the beach, along the coastal path, and then finish along the road again. Straight lines all the way, with only the odd meter climb and descent.

Possibly a little too straightforward. Almost fell asleep at one point. Podcasts accompanied my run, letting me catch up from the week. John Osborne: The Kindness of Stangers, two episodes of More or Less and the last of the Infinite Monkey Cage tour. It works for me…

I finished in 00:56:22, with Nick coming in at 00:58:55. We backtracked a bit and found brother, and pushed him through the last kilometre to the line. When he saw the line from 400m out, he broke in to a sprint that would have done Usain Bolt proud and he finished in a very respectable 01:18:46, under the 1 hour 20 mark we were aiming for. He did not vomit after crossing the line, but did look an interesting shade of grey. Water and biscuits brought him back to human.

I’m now browsing for the next one…