Posts Tagged ‘Christmas Mile’

Today saw the second running of the world famous Christmas Mile. Numbers were up on last year with four hardy souls toeing the line. The weather played along by being cold, miserable and wet.

22 December 2012 10:15am University of Birmingham Athletics Track.

1. Ed Banks 4:39
2. Martin Matthews 4:55
3. Mark Ince 5:04
4. Kevin McMillan 5:30

(Kevin had run a hard 5k immediately before the mile, solid pre-race preparation in anyone’s book.)

A few laps cool down and we were off.

That was that. The conditions minimised any pre or post race banter. The mile was short, sweet and to the point. And so is this report.

Same time next year chaps.


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Today we launched the Christmas Mile. 


It could well go on to become the serious, bespectacled, older cousin of the Beermile. We’ll see.


The number of athletes toeing the starting line was impressive. One (me). For a variety of legitimate and less-than-legitimate excuses no-one else could make it. Niceguy was there but had hurt his calf two days earlier and couldn’t do any running on it. Timmons never lets frivolity get in the way of serious training, and chose to do the latter on the day. Ben was keen but not in town, likewise Robbo was interested but had family commitments. Rich had a sore foot, Gracie lives somewhere else.


So it was that, on a cold (but not icy) day in December, on the Birmingham Uni track, for the inaugural Christmas Mile event, I was running solo. Let’s factor in the usual “I ate too much turkey / chocolate / crisps / mince pies / side board and bookshelf ensemble”. You get the drill. Racing-weight I was not. I also had a chest cold. Basically, I’d have been lucky to get around the track at all. Some people are born tough.


Anyway, Banks was holding the stopwatch and calling the splits. He was shouting encouragement and general advice. So I did some strides, put on my track spikes (first time out of the cupboard in shit knows how long)  and sauntered up to the line. One thing was certain, first place was mine.


The gun was sounded (Niceguy said GO) and I was off. I had no idea how to pace it (this will become evident very soon) and thought I better run fast as “it’s only one mile after all”. Surely I could get through the first lap in 75 seconds. “Sixty seven point eight” shouted Ed as I rolled through lap one. Jesus. Ok, calm down. 100m into the second lap I was in lactic’s waiting area, soon to be called through to the main room, lactic hell. Basically I got progressively slower from then on out. But as I had thought, I did indeed manage to (just) hold onto first place.


I gasped my way across the line, arms aching (yes, your arms ache in a middle distance race), legs completely numb, lungs on fire and blood in my throat. When I had recovered sufficiently to speak, I asked Ed for the number.


So there it is. A line in the sand. My official unofficial one mile PB, and I should add, the Christmas Mile Record.


Awaiting official splits from MrEd, but from my pain-fuzzled brain I think he shouted out 68, 76, 78, 78.

Anybody want a pace-maker?

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