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It's a runner's life.
Mainly my very tongue-in-cheek experiences of Eastbourne parkrun, interspersed with general running nonsense.

Performance un-enhancing peppermints and Paralympic presence

martinallen72by martinallen72Jul 28th 2012
A very inspiring weekend. Last night was, of course, the spectacular opening ceremony to London 2012 and I thought it was so perfect that young sporting boys and girls, already inspiring leaders in their respective fields of endeavour, with so much talent and promise, take the games to the future.

I felt a little guilty then that after a G&T, two glasses of red wine and a 1:30am bed time, I wasn¬'t exactly inspiring myself to greater sporting performance at parkrun today. The guilt was short-lived though, because, for me, sport of any description is meaningless if you can¬'t enjoy it first and foremost, and whatever my state of disrepair, I was still going to be grinning my way round 3.1 miles of pain.

Today was also special because Dr Nick Webborn, Chief Medical Officer for the GB Paralympic Team and torch relay bearer, brought his Olympic torch to Eastbourne parkrun. More of that later.

Arriving at Eastbourne, I was ravenous. I¬'d only had a glass of smoothie for breakfast and some sips of water on the train. Hunting around in my rucksack, I found a pack of peppermints that looked like they could have been in there since about 1987. I took one out, brushed off some surface debris, blew on it a bit and shoved it in my mouth. It was still moderately refreshing and who knows if the sugar rush would push me to a new course record (best or worse, I'm not fussy!)?

The park was heaving this morning. Could the Olympics have inspired some people to turn out, or was it the thought of meeting Dr Webborn and his golden torch? Fellow parkrunner, Kate Fowler, and I indulged in some pretend-stretch preparation, I grabbed two puffs of my inhaler and, before we knew it, we were called into line.

I had some doubts in my mind about finishing, as I have pulled out of 6 of my last 10 training runs owing to breathing problems leading to muscle exhaustion. I was hoping a new inhaler would provide some lung relief and allow more oxygen to flow round my bloodstream. The jury is out on that one, because although my breathing improved for the first two miles, the final mile went to pot and my pace dropped right away.

At least we all managed the correct course today. A marshal was positioned in the place where the sign was moved last week, just in case the pesky kids came back. Furthermore, I did just about manage to raise a bit of a kick finish at the end, out-sprinting two fellow runners on the way to the line.

I checked my watch and saw 25:34 - about 15 seconds slower again than last week. My initial thought at the time was that I was faster than last week - but I couldn¬'t even get that right! Fool. Haha. Dusty old peppermints clearly don't work.

Never mind that though - the real treat was yet to come. Barcode scanned, I grabbed my camera and went to join the queue to get a close up of an Olympic torch.
Performance un-enhancing peppermints and Paralympic presence
The message of London 2012 talks about leaving a legacy and inspiring a generation. The visit of Dr Webborn to Eastbourne parkrun was that inspirational bridge between grass-roots fitness and Olympic attainment, and every level of personal achievement between, for all generations.

As runners queued to talk to Dr Webborn after their run, to hold the torch and have their photo taken, adults grinned and children beamed. It was Olympic inspiration in action.

It was only fitting that the final runner to complete the parkrun course was given an opportunity to carry the torch to resounding applause, through a ¬'tunnel of honour¬' formed by her fellow parkrunners.
Performance un-enhancing peppermints and Paralympic presence
It was a run of freshness, smile and Olympic bonhomie and I felt so privileged to be part of it.

In fact, I might just celebrate with another peppermint. Would you care for one, too? I've got one for you here, somewhere...
Performance un-enhancing peppermints and Paralympic presence
sarahleonardby member: sarahleonard, Aug 31st 2012 12:30
Ha ha those peppermints look delicious!? Cool that you got to see the touch up close. How's the injury doing now?
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