Bournemouth Bay Run; up, off early
Round the bay in Dorset sun.
Soon shake off the chill of morning
Warm up jog beside the pier.
Tightly gathered in the start pen
All the runners, all their gear.
Who are athletes, who are jokers?
Whose not sure they should be here?
Hooter sounds, meant to start us
Shuffle forward to the line.
Feel familiar start frustration.
Crush can’t run, get into stride.
Happy smiling girls in tutus
Oblivious to the crush of runners
Bursting to run but stuck behind.
Picks up slowly, gaps to nip through.
Mustn’t now panic go too fast.
Promenade run, past the beach huts
Field of runners fanning out.
Room to pass and pick up stride now
Pick up stride you can get past.
Numbers on the watch look better
Not too fast the proper pace.
Sea and shore stretch out before us
Beach beside us, cliffs above.
Set the sights on distant Boscombe
First stage run from pier to pier.
Up the zig, zag slightly later
Must save something for the climb.
Coming now. We can’t let up here.
Take it easy, make the top.
Breath comes hard, legs won’t go here
Briefly fall into a walk.
Curse ourselves and stumble onward
Gasping when we reach the top.
Take deep breaths, get some air in
Move those legs now getting stiff.
Coming back, the shore below us
Running on the overcliff
Half the race is now behind us
Found a pace, don’t let it drop.
Wish you’d done a few more long runs
You’ll slow down, your pace tail off.
Along the top, bright Dorset sunshine
Negotiate the parking bays.
Says to run along the pavement
We don’t want no extra yards.
Look out for our friends, relations
Extra cheers, a special wave.
Soon enough the route is downhill.
Run loose, try to use the gradient
Pick it up and pass a few.
Was the effort much too early?
Still a decent way to go.
More deep breaths, keep it going.
Legs are heavy, pace feels slow.
Now it’s Bournemouth’s pier we head for.
Still a mile or two to go.
Just hang in there, keep it going.
You’ve got the distance, know you’ll finish,
Must make this respectable.
Where exactly is the finish?
Just how far is still to go?
Have to make one final effort
Though the legs are heavy, stiff.
One last push towards the finish.
There it is, that must be it.
One last bit and all be over.
No point holding anything back.
Push yourself that last bit harder
Find there’s really not much there.
Push yourself across the finish.
Check the watch. I guess OK.
Have to train that wee bit harder
For a smile to cross my face.
Through the funnel with the others
Shuffle forward, old routine.
Timing chips and then the medals
Another for the back of drawer.
Goodie bag, another T Shirt.
Head for home, sun still shining
Shower, then more of Dorset day.