Having been generously sponsored to run again by a catholic charity for the Sacred Heart Parish appeal entering the Wimbledon 10k for a third consecutive year was a must.
The weather was ideal for the March 2010 Wimbledon 10k Race. The sun shone for what seemed to be the first time this year after so many grey cold wet days. Strangely though the 57 bus which in previous years was packed with runners heading for the start, was not at all crowded. Those who made their way to the start by car would have been confounded not only by the major roadworks on the nearby Coombe Lane but also by the fact that the Wimbledon Rugby club car park was closed.
The aroma from the BBQ breakfast sausages sizzling nearby the clubhouse was tempting but was best resisted as after the race, Mothers' Day breakfast had been arranged with younger brother, nephew (both also running) sister in law and mrs maytrees (both of whom were supporting). At the start it was good to see so many mothers in this Mothering Sunday race with numerous children and families providing vocal support.
The race sponsors - Audi motor cars - had some of their fine wares on display and also a sense of humour suggesting over the Tannoy that an Audi Coupe would make a good Mothers' Day present - doubtless it would but equally certainly not a little ready money would be required to perfect the gift.
The final seconds to the off were counted down with enthusiasm by a large group of children and we were on our way. My guess is that there were about 2000 competitors in the race as we ran through the rugby pitches before hitting the streets of Raynes Park. Running back towards the maytrees' residence at c. km 2.5 in the glorious sunshine was quite exhilerating though when turning left passed the convent the dreaded Wimbledon Hill Road part of the route loomed large. Recollecting the mantra used by Mr Headmaster and I when running the route in the past I kept repeating the words "What Hill" to myself as I ran up, Wimbledon Village was reached in no time at all; then the War Memorial and the familiar jogging territory of the Common.
Great to see some wild spring flowers at last shooting up; back then towards the Hand in Hand pub and Copse Hill easy down this time.
Why does man's attitude towards fellow man and woman change so much when behind the wheel of a car. Some motorists are so impatient that leaning on their car horns after only a few seconds wait for runners to cross roads in Raynes Park seemed for a few at least to become imperative. Less stressful on their nerves and less likely to cause a breach of the Sunday morning peace, might have been a policy of switching engines off for a couple of minutes whilst letting the 2000 runners stream past. After all with say 50 motorists and c. 2000 runners affected for 5 minutes who should logically give way to whom?
Back down to Coombe Lane where younger brother managed to catch me up and the last kilometre to the welcome rugby pitch finish. Great to see so many supporters still cheering us all on. My time of c. 55 minutes was not a personal best but better than last year. Little brother was about 50 seconds faster. His son who was rocket powered last year easily beating father and uncle, had what Paula Radcliffe might call 'a bad run day', in 2010.
Breakfast in the Olive Tree Italian cafe afterwards was a real treat.