When I started to write this the first thing I had to check was what the event is actually called these days. To me, this is, and will always be, the Kingston Breakfast Run. In various previous Spring or Autumn versions I have covered 8.2 miles, 16 miles, 20 miles and also 26.2. Generally in the Spring and generally as part of some prep for a Spring Marathon.
This year, given injuries and a knee operation in January, I opted not to enter London Marathon this year and have been especially limited in terms of miles in the last 7-8 months. Nevertheless, I had decided a while back to enter this event and the day before had ran parkrun to try and gage what sort of pace I should set off at for my 8.2 miles this year.
The early rise for an 8am start was only made worse by the clocks going forward the night before, but I met a few others at 7am at Teddington gate and we jogged through Bushy Park, over Kingston Bridge, and into the marketplace. Numbers collected, kit on, and bags dropped there was an excellent SHAEF contingent ready to go.
A couple of minutes later, Julian was feeling a little more soothed, with his jacket back half-on and him complaining about the cold. The rest of us just got on with it.
Given the 8 and 16 mile events started together, there was a good bunch of us in the start area together where we got first eyeball on Clayton's new daps. Standout.
And we were off. I had agreed to run with Ravi, with a provisional target of 7 minute miles. After the first mile I decided my legs were OK and settled in at around 6:40 pace and was steadily picking off runners. Whether they were doing the 8 or 16 miles wasn't too important to me.
I came into the finish, caught up with Ravi and Charlie, and gave some of the 16 milers some encouragement. This is definitely the way to go. Finish your own run, get some warm clothes on and head for a coffee on course.
First through were Jon and Clayton, both in marathon training and having run together the whole way. Rob followed through, also in Marathon training for London and testing his legs after a trip to the other side of the world. Nick also followed, with his longest run for a couple of years.
Some excellent performances from everyone. Well done.
After finishing and before heading back for some breakfast, a few of us got a post race snap. Rob was clearly very happy with himself.
For me, this was the end of the first half of my day. I now dashed off for breakfast, followed by a shower and quick change, and on the train into London and Wembley to watch Sunderland. Sadly we lost on penalties but nonetheless it didn't spoil a great Mothers day...
Keep on running.