JK 2013: ups and downs

JK Relay 2013We were booked in to all four days of the JK this weekend just gone. Given the recent weather conditions we were grateful that, although cold throughout, it was at least dry and we even had bright blue skies on some occasions. For the sprint on Friday at the Reading University Whiteknights campus, Christine’s parents were around so we both had early starts. You can see from my route that my only real mistake (repeated twice) was missing the gap in the hedge that I could have used from 11 to 12 and 17 to 18. That said, the navigation was pretty much all just left or right of the building. I did, however, have all sorts of trouble with my right calf that was very painful during and after the race.

We retired to our accommodation at the rather plush (for a Holiday Inn) Holiday Inn (J4 M10). My calf was sufficiently sore that I wasn’t sure that I was going to run the next day but things had eased up a bit by the morning and I set out on first split at Hambleden. The calf actually eased up as I went round but, more generally, I had no energy and found myself walking up most of the steep inclines. Other than a few wobbles in the control pick round 15 – 19 my navigation was fine but without the speed I was over 10 minutes down on the winner.

Having failed to find any Easter eggs in Henley, we all had a swim in the hotel pool when we got back (1.2m throughout so not all that small child friendly). Duncan was coughing during the night but didn’t seem too bad for the early start with clock changes and a drive over to Cold Ash (near Newbury). Fortunately our status as family/helpers meant that we didn’t have to use the bussing system. It was still a fair trek to the string course though. Emma shot round in just over 5 minutes. Duncan was a bit more sedate but suffered no truck when it came to punching first at the controls. He didn’t look too happy sat in the club tent though when I handed over the reins to Christine. I had another average run, with no major blunders but once again 10 minutes down. It was till enough to give me a respectable 8th place on M35 over the two days (Christine’s third place was more impressive though!).

Unfortunately, as I returned to the car I was informed by a club member that Duncan had been sick in the car. He looked better for it but we binned the JOK meet-up and headed back to the hotel where he slept for most of the rest of the day. Having tucked in to a fry-up on Monday morning (not his first choice but he wanted what Emma was having) we concluded he was well enough to go to the relays back at Hambleden. It was bitterly cold though and both children were complaining as we watched Christine come in third (again) on first leg of Women’s Short. I was third leg on Men’s Short. I didn’t have much company by the time I went out but had a reasonable run, making just one error as I ran up the wrong valley and wasted a couple of minutes.

Everyone was warming up back in the car when I returned and although we’d all had fun, we were glad to get home. Sadly we’ve now all come down with Duncan’s illness with Emma being sick today. Anyone would think we were on holiday!

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