* This post has been written a couple of months after the event.
On Sunday 12th December, I made my way out to Warwick University which is actually in Coventry.
I found the carpark, for which I had previously paid, and parked up with about an hour to go before my first ever race walk race – the last event of the Winter League series.
From the car park, I made my way to the sport pavilion where registration would take place. There were no signs in place but luckily, I found the place easily enough.
I entered and at the desk, told them my name and was issued with numbers (front and back) and after asking nicely, a handful of safety pins (for attaching said numbers).
I returned to the car, changed shoes and pinned on my numbers (34).
Foolishly, I assumed that the start would be somewhere near the track and pavilion (like I said, there were no signs about) so made my way back there.
On arrival, there was no-one at the pavilion and those people milling around outside knew nothing about any race walking going on !
I wandered around about as my watch ticked closer to the 12:30 start time.
At half twelve, after finding no race walking, I returned to the pavilion and after nosing around a bit, I found a map showing that the start was across the road, down an alley and on a business park !
I had already missed the start of my, 5k race, but made my way to the course, just to experience a bit of proper race walking.
Five minutes later,I spotted some people walking along a very quiet road. I even recognised a fellow Harrier whom I cheered on – “Go Carolyn!”
Eventually, I found the race director and explained my situation. “Oh, didn’t you know?” he enquired.
Obviously not !
As I have said before, race walking is not big on communication – it’s all a bit hush-hush.
I was told that I could take part in the 10k race which would be starting after the 5k event had finished. Oh well, better than nothing even if it was twice the distance I had trained for !
Once all the competitors had finished the 5k race, I was introduced to other, until now unknown, Harriers and, of course, posed for the obligatory team photo.
At 1:25, ten of us lined up – a proper starting pistol was fired and we were away.
The race would be ten laps of a one kilometre course.
The pack soon split up but I had the guy in front in my sights and managed to overtake him on the second lap.
We stayed in these positions for the rest of the race.
I just carried on plodding around, managing to lap a couple of walkers.
Carolyn, after recovering from her own race, managed to snap a few picture of me and even a video from which you can see everything that I was doing wrong !
I finished my first 10k race walk in 77:33 at an average pace of 11:58 per mile.
I was the fastest Nuneaton Harrier (not difficult as I was the only Nuneaton Harrier in the race) but did finish ahead of four other walkers.
Not a bad race – I enjoyed the experience and even managed to smile where it mattered. Someone did say that I was enjoying myself far too much !
I have put the video on here.
It’s not a pretty sight and it does show that I still have quite a way to go.
My arms are all over the place and I am nowhere near as fluid as the guy in the yellow top going the other way.