A word about Peter…

Posted: 26/08/2012 in Uncategorized

Saturday morning, and even with the rain, it’s Parkrun time! When I got up it was pouuuuring, but by the time I needed to set off it was merely tipping down. Cue waterproof and hat.

When I arrived, I only had five or so minutes to the start, so I headed over to the line, and generally got on with waiting for the go.

Then I noticed Peter, so I went for a little chat. I met Peter a few months ago, while waiting for the run to start – I think he was wondering what time it was, I honestly can’t remember now. Anyway, as these things go we had a bit of a conversation, he’s from around here, but lives in London now. He comes up to visit family and so comes along on the Saturday morning for a bit of a run. He’s been running for ever, and certainly looks the part. His club is West 4 Harriers, who I’ve discovered (from their website) are based in Chiswick. When I first met Peter, it was the run before his birthday and the impending move to a different age bracket.

Turns out he’s faster than me, which is to be expected, he’s been running for ages, and looks like a man who rations his pie intake. I’ve been running for a year, and getting to grips with Greggs not forming a staple of my diet. At the time, we did the run, and that was that.

A few weeks later, on the last time before I had a birthday and changed age brackets, I saw Peter again, I said hello again and asked how he was doing, exchanged a few words and off we went again.

Yesterday, it was nice to see him there again, and I said hello – he congratulated me on my new PB the other week – which means he must have noticed it, and we chatted about upcoming races and that kind of thing. Again running took place and off home I went.

There’s no great reveal in this, it’s just nice to make a connection, to swap a few words. For some reason it’s nicer for the fact that he’s living in a far-flung part of the country, though I can’t explain why. It strikes me that, by my experiences so far, we runners are a friendly bunch, and there are a lot of Peters out there. I always try  to acknowledge other runners as we pass, I think a bit of camaraderie goes a long way, especially if you’re having a tough day. As a note to anyone who’s just got into running – when I started, I was sure that all the fit looking people passing me by were thinking “he’s a bit tubby to be out here”, but in reality, now being not-the-biggest-runner-on-the-coast, I can report that what you actually think is “well done you, go on there!”. Obscurely, there’s nothing quite like someone who is starting (to run) down the path towards fitness and perhaps struggling a bit with it to give you a warm glow.

No statistics today, I was over a minute under my PB, which I blame squarely on having had a take-away the night before. My ankles also hurt, which I put down to not having run distances so much recently, having been out with Mrs. Angrybees on her 13-week programme more than solo.

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