Friday, 1 January 2016

promathon 2016

photo Scott Craighead

Because what else are you going to do on the first of Jan? (Apart from the NYD Triathlon. Or a nice run round Arthur's Seat. Or a longer run in the hills. Or go away for the new year and avoid all that horror of the new year zombies staggering back from town vomiting and shouting in your street?)

Last night Mary and I were watching the rolling news at 8pm and they cut to Dubai (4 time zones ahead) where after a spectacular hotel fire (reminiscent of Towering Inferno) they were kicking off the New Year with a massive firework spectacular. 3,2,1..... nothing. No fireworks. After a way too long gap the commentators said that was not what they were expecting. Hilarious. We switched over before there was an update. But that is kind of the New Year in a nutshell. Large build up and damp squib. You could choose any day to start the new year: there is no intrinsic start-now-ness to January first. You could easily say it was Monday 8th Feb. The Chinese do. I went to bed sober at midnight and was thankful the 4 minutes of fireworks was only 4 minutes. I then listened to a podcast that was fab and gently lulled me off to sleep. Well it was very short so I followed it with some more from the Criminal podcast - savoury and unsavoury tales of crimes, sometimes historical, sometimes from last week about stuff, usually criminal stuff, that may have gone through the US Courts. As the waves of sleep roll up the shore of the bed I drift off and hopefully remember to put the mp3 player off before I go. I would highly recommend the first piece - less than 4 minutes of unusual but striking dialogue. Click on this link and then click the orange arrow. Here be Monsters has lots of great audio, mixing narrative and ambient music and like a load of podcast sites is far more thoughtful than most low brow tv. Radio Lab is another worth checking out.

Thanks to Alan & Sharyn R for these 2 photos

The Promathon is painful. I tried to reduce the misery by starting at a sustainable rate and that was okay. I thought I would do a reasonable job as I have been doing a few short and sharp runs of late. However I was slower than the last 2 or 3 years just getting under 23 minutes. I ran most of the race with Stuart H and Michael G but both pulled away towards the end (as per usual last couple of years) and I dropped maybe 6 or 7 places from about 21st to whatever. It is only a small recompense that quite a few folk seemed slower this year although it's difficult to say exactly why. It is not a race I particularly enjoy or do well, and I'm sure my familiarity with the course (every Wednesday through the Winter) is one reason. Well done to Stuart getting first mv50. 

Then before you cool down there is the prospect of a dook. Essential to do this while the heart rate is still up. So it was strip off and jump in the water. It didn't feel really YIKES cold but it didn't feel warm either. Even though I waded out a long way it was still only just knee deep. I had to crouch down to get my head under, and there was a reluctance to do this. However after a couple of baptisms I jogged out and back up the beach. Not so many dookers this year (despite the tv cameras being there to film it) and the low ambient temperature was no doubt to blame. Happily there was hot showers available along with the usual luxuries of a wee carton of orange and a box of raisins. I wondered what to do with the juice and stowed it in a cupboard next to ...ahhh last years carton. The raisins I munched down while watching the news clip Syd Woods had recorded off the 1pm news. Alex J had said the footage would be on the 6.30 news but as that finished not started at 6.30 I never found out. I will post the 1pm news version below, many thanks Syd for catching that.

Michael closely guards his raisins and juice.

Nick: halfway between an aqua-plank and a dolphin impression.
See on the video below, when I take a photo of Nick, well this is it.

how it looked on telly - thanks Derek!
(I took the precaution of wearing neoprene socks.)

And below the clip from the BBC news. 
Featuring myself, Nick and Richard, (running into the water)
captured by Syd Woods

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