10 Things I Think About The II Palma Beach Running Course 10k
1. Jerry Kieran is Right
I think lunch in a Michelin starred restaurant the day before a race is very bad preparation for a race, lunch in a Michelin starred restaurant followed by a three course dinner in a Belgian restaurant that specialises in Belgian beer is exceptionally bad preparation. I woke up this morning feeling like one of the GAA players that Jerry Kieran was ranting about yesterday, big, heavy and not very mobile.
I think Orval is my favourite beer. It's absolutely perfect, I should have just had another one instead of asking the crazy Belgian guy what he'd recommend. "Ah zee Westmalle Triple, excellent beer".
I actually needed sunglasses today. I don't think you could have run the race without them. I wore my orange ones because I like them. The sun is brilliant, it makes your head happy and your skin brown. I like the sun a lot.
4. German Santa Ponsa
I know I like Germany and Spain but the two combined together is an apocalyptic vision. The race was on in a German version of Santa Ponsa just down the coast from Palma. It was horrendous, like Youghal on a sunny day with lots of retired Germans. All the signs were in German and the people were waiting at the traffic lights even though nothing was coming.
I think I knew that the race was not being run by Germans when I saw the queue for registration. It was very Spanish and very long.
6. The Parade Ring
I think it's great fun to wander around the start trying to figure out who's any good. It's not as simple as pick out the skinny ones. It's like picking horses in the parade ring, you've to check for conditioning. I asked one of the locals who le meilleur was, he understood my French, but he didn't know who el mejor was. He said the race would be won in 3:15kms, he was right, he didn't seem to think I was any good, he was right.
Unsurprisingly due to the Spanish queue the race started 10 minutes late, no one really cared because it was sunny and you don't care about these things when it's sunny. Due to feeling like a GAA player I had no interest in taking the lead and decided to follow the leaders and sit in like people always tell me to. I couldn't even do that though so I settled for what felt fast which was about 6th place.
8. Traffic Cones
I think the Mallorcans may have contracted out the placing of the traffic cones that marked the two turning points at either end of the course to one of the many Germans in the area because it was exactly precisely 10k. Either that or it was pure luck.
9. The Sprint
I spent the whole race chasing a guy in a blue t-shirt who had clearly gone off too fast, he was coming back to me the whole race. I thought I was going to repeat my heroics from last weekend and outsprint someone again. I tried my best but there was no response. My sprinting superpower just doesn't work on the road, it needs grass or muck or both.
10. Majorly Spained
I thought I was going to get to stand on the podium today. I really like podiums, the photos look fantastic on Instagram. They had loads of trophies so I thought I'd a chance having finished 6th because there were lots of fast old men running. I asked one of the Spaniards if I had won anything. He showed me a sheet with my name in second place in the senior men category and said to wait one hour for the prizes. I waited and waited and waited while all the trophies disappeared, there was no trophy for me. I didn't really care mainly because it was sunny and hot, the sun makes everything better even a good Spaining.