The only possible start to the New Year was the Hereford 10K, which is now officially a tradition after entering it 2 years on the trot.
Luckily, New Year's Eve turned out to be a relatively low key affair this year, having gone out too hard in the early evening with fajitas and cider at my brother's house, a case of deep vein Strongbowsis set in and we were all ready for bed by half ten. If it wasn't for a game of "spot the lookylikeys in Jools Holland's Rhythm and Blues Orchestra" (I saw Prince Philip, David Walliams and Grotbags... who did you spot?), we'd have been fast asleep as the clock struck midnight. Nobly, we soldiered on through but all agreed we'd do the champagne more justice if we saved it for after the run.
This year's race saw an unprecedented guest appearance from lovely boyfriend on the start line. Now, lovely boyfriend doesn't really share my love of running; he's a fit enough cyclist to do himself a lot of damage in trainers but he fails to see the fun in lacking the ability to freewheel on a descent. He has talked a lot about running "something" in the past and has put a lot of time and effort in to calculating his "virtual pb" of sub-40 minutes so this debut has been a long time coming and the press were notified.
Of course, we had no intentions of accompanying one another around the course. On the odd occassion that we've managed to go out for a run together previously, if he's not crippled me with amusement at the ferocity of his farting ("running jiggles up your innards", apparently. Who knew?) then we've ended up bordering on unkindess. Here's a case in point:
"Lovely boyfriend, you look like this when you run..."
*Cue impersonation of constipated Lego man hurrying for a bus*
"Well, Cake of Good Hope, you look like this..."
*Lovely boyfriend shuffles off up the road like an elderly hen in flip flops*
As such, we ran very different races: I managed to just break the hour (shaving 5 whole minutes off last year's rather sociable effort), whilst lovely boyfriend gained himself a REAL pb of sub-40 and bagged a top 20 place on an undulating course.
Have we converted him to running? Judging by the lack of freewheel on his descent of stairs today, I'm assuming not; although there are witnesses that heard him say he "enjoyed" his race. Our matching set of coasters proved useful in the bar after the race but I may have to resign myself to continuing the collection single-handedly again in future.