A belated club championship 10k handicap race took place last night on the railway path at Haddington. About eleven club members turned up and Paddy worked out a handicap for each of us based on races and training runs this year. It was good to see Keyliegh back again from South Africa and a big surprise to see Jimmy on the start line for the first time in many months or perhaps years. Claire was off first with other runners chasing her and each other over the following 15 minutes. The course was straight out to the 5km mark, just past Cottyburn car park and back again. I made a late decision to run to test out my fitness, after a week of a very strange allergic skin rash, which had taken its toll. I also wanted to find out how my Achilles injury was holding up. I was given a not very generous 9.30 mins slot and set off in pursuit of Ian Murphy and the new boy John. I started off at a steady pace and I could see Ian and John having a chat and ambling along in front of me. I caught them at 1km and had intended to run with them, but Ian immediately upped his pace and I followed him. We left John behind. I felt strong and was going along well for the first 5km, although I was falling progressively further behind Ian. After the turn I had problems. I could feel my Achilles hurting and the power that I had in the first half started to fall away. A procession of runners started to pass me. First it was Paddy at 6 km, then John whom we had left in the dust. He had waited until the half way mark and then really turned on the speed. Then Frank, Sandy, and Ian Carrick all zipped past me. I managed to catch Keyliegh and Claire and came in on 48.16… not a good time considering I was 23.something at the half way mark. So the allergy thingy had taken its toll and I’m left with a painful Achilles. It was good to see Jimmy performing well after his long absence. He came in first and took home the trophy. Frank was fastest on the night in 40+ minutes. It can’t be long until he gets under 40.
On a brighter note, I picked up a painting from the framers today. It is a painting of a classic car that I bought on my holiday in Cuba. I like the painting a lot because it somehow captures the spirit of classic cars. It is painted in vibrant colours with a sort of abstract background. I met and talked to the artist a couple of times. He has been painting for 20 years and has a degree from the university in Havana. I reckon that he is a very talented man. I met a few other artists during my stay and I gained the impression that it is difficult for them to make a living, but that doesn’t stop them from trying. Anyway the painting was a very reasonable price and I picked up the frame in a charity shop, so I’m pleased with the purchase.