Well these last few months have been a complete blur, most of the time I don't know which day of the week it is or what country I'm in. Not complaining as I'm having the time of my life!
As I now have a little spare time in the evenings I thought I would update my blog with a few of the journey's I have been on since I last posted about the Ring-O-Fire.
As you may or may not know I am now an athlete manager, I arrange races for our (Run-Fast) athletes and the autumn is probably the busiest time of year for us, hence a lot of travelling around to various races. About a month ago I travelled to Bucharest, Romania for the Bucharest International Marathon, we had one male athlete competing named Felix Kangogo. My journey started with an early morning flight from Luton to Bucharest with Easyjet. I was sat next to a married couple, the guy was Romanian and the lady was from the UK, I don't want to be unkind but she was rather a large lady with the guy being pretty skinny, they made a very odd couple!! As we were nearing the end of the flight the Romanian guy started telling me I could get a nice skinny lady in Bucharest, "lots of pretty skinny ladies" he told me in his Romanian accent, his wife overheard this and was obviously slightly offended that he was talking about skinny ladies, he tried to reassure her and then turned to me and whispered "don't listen to her she is fat B**ch"!! This made me chuckle all the way to the hotel in Bucharest.
I was staying in the Hilton which was very nice, Bucharest is a strange city, big wide streets and lots of communist style buildings, most in need of a bit of restoration. I would like to see more of Romania as the people were great but I think I would only use Bucharest as a place to start. Felix soon arrived in the hotel and was very pleased to see me. We settled in and relaxed for the rest of the day with some good food and company in the hotels Italian restaurant. Breakfast the next morning was interesting, I had pointed out the little pots of honey to Felix so he could use on his toast, I then went to get some food for myself from the buffet, on my return I noticed Felix stirring some blueberry jam into his tea?! I asked him what he was doing and he said "honey", I said "no, that's blueberry jam!" He looked a little confused for a while and then understood, picked the bits of blueberry out of his tea and carried on drinking!!
I found out that there was a half marathon starting at the same time as the marathon, as it was on the same route as the marathon I thought I would give it a go as it gave me the opportunity to be with Felix right up until the start. As I hadn't done any specific training for the half marathon I thought I would try running at 70 minute pace as I was sure I wouldn't slow too much going at this pace. The marathon runners were being paced at 66 minutes through the half way mark and as the course had a few out and back stretches I was able to track the progress of Felix whilst racing myself. It soon became clear that I was pulling quite a big lead in the half marathon and I actually felt very comfortable running at that pace, winning the race and 500 Euros in a time of 70.04. After I had finished being interviewed for Romanian TV and radio, I had to go for the prize giving which was held on a stage infront of the Peoples Palace which is the second biggest building in the world. After recieving the trophy they started playing the national anthem, it was a great feeling and something I didn't think would happen so soon after stopping competing earlier this year. Shortly after the prize giving the leaders of the marathon were expected to finish, with 7km to go I knew Felix was in a lead group of three. To my joy I saw Felix sprinting down the home straight to claim a double win for Run-Fast, probably the first time ever that a manager and their athlete have won two races at the same event! All in all a great weekend.
Myself and Felix celebrating our double win
Didn't think I would ever see this again - Bucharest Half Marathon Champion!!