In recent weeks, a bit of healthy competition at Parkrun has developed between my husband, my daughter’s best friend’s uncle (random I know – we met him through Parkrun and my daughter’s best friend) and me.
When my husband started running Parkrun last summer, his PB was just over 27 minutes, whereas my first PB was 25 minutes. I soon got my time to under 25 minutes and it stayed at 24 minutes something for many, many months.
It has only been in the past couple of weeks that my husband has got done to 24 minutes something. But he still wasn’t quite matching me for time and a few weeks ago I smashed 44 seconds off my PB to get down to 23:34.
My daughter’s best friend’s uncle had always run faster than my husband and at a similar pace to me. Sometimes he would beat me, sometimes I would beat him.
All of a sudden, all three of us were running at a very similar pace.
And it became war.
Without the other two, I’m sure none of us would have improved our times in recent weeks.
A couple of weeks ago I was running ahead of my husband and the uncle was in sight. Five people ahead of me, then four, then three… I was right behind him 100m before the line. So I put my foot down and I went for it. But there was no way he was going to let me beat him, so he put his foot down too. Me trying to beat him made him beat his time by 10 seconds and get his PB. I was just 15 seconds off my own PB.
And the week before, while I was running with my daughter, my husband had come within four seconds of my time.
Last week, the game really was on.
All three of us set off together at a tremendous pace. The pace left me breathless, but it was the right thing to do. If I get a fast start, I tend to keep up a quicker pace. The men pulled ahead of me, but I wasn’t bothered. They’d done the same the previous week and I’d beaten my husband and been very narrowly beaten by the uncle.
This time, for the first time ever, I couldn’t gain on them. They were in my sights, but I couldn’t catch them. And for the first time ever, my husband was ahead of the uncle and the uncle couldn’t catch him.
On the final lap, I was gaining on the uncle, but I knew I couldn’t attempt to overtake him as I knew exactly what would happen.
In the end, my husband crossed the line in an incredible 23:01 and 71st place, the uncle got 23:10 and 74th place and I came in 80th in 23:23. All three of us had got our PB, so I didn’t mind too much at being beaten by the men.
If I still want to prove that I’m better than them, every runner gets an age/ gender rating – mine was 66.29% for that run and my husband’s was 60.17%.
Our next target is to smash the 23 minute barrier. Now we have the uncle’s teenage son in our sights…