Saturday, 18 January 2020

Bert's Bricks 21km 2020

Last year was, I'm fairly certain, the first in about 18 years, that I did not participate in a single road race! So when I was reminded of Bert's Bricks 21km, which I missed last year as I was out of town, I couldn't resist the challenge.

The curse - and blessing - of road races is that they start early. 6am starts best the heat but they do nail me. I was surprised to see this morning that it is now more dark than light at 5am, as I made my way to Potch - one of our closest large towns that is only 50km away.

At the race, I was warmly greeted by many Parys runners. We see each other regularly at parkrun, myrun or Wednesday evening time trials. 

Despite the cool morning and overcast sky, it was pretty humid. Hendrick - a local Parys biokineticist who has a spaniel dog that usually runs with him - and I settled into the same pace from the start and we ended up running together. 

The element that makes this run so much 'fun' is that you have the option to pick up a brick at the halfway turnaround at the Bert's Bricks factory. If you run all the way to the finish with it, you can claim a 6-pack of beer. 

Running with a brick is not easy! It feels like it gets heavier and heavier with every step! It is also awkward to carry and no position is comfortable. It is also not something that you can put into a backpack - as some tried - because it whacks against your back. 

I take along a pillowcase. With the brick inside, I have more options for how to hold it. 

We went through 10km in 56 minutes - nice and easy. We finished in 2:04, mainly losing time when we took the water points on the return route as opportunities to walk a bit and to shake out our arms. I'm sure we arrived at the finish with arms significantly longer after carrying our bricks back! 

A great morning and I felt better on the road than I expected. I'm sure I'll have stiff shoulders and triceps tomorrow, but legs and knees and lungs were all good. 

I've already put my keyring memento onto a set of keys that I use daily. A nice alternative to a medal. 

I haven't got any plans for much road racing this year, but I did thoroughly enjoy this morning's run - a reminder of my running roots. 

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