I believe there is a book and a film called “Let’s talk about Kevin.”
I have never seen it or fancied watching it, but then I am originally from Paisley and now live in Lanarkshire, so pretty much I am to culture what Ed Sheeran is to inconspicuousness. I doubt it is on the same subject as this blog but that is the gist of this one. Let us indeed talk about Kevin.
We all know a Kevin.
The guy in your running club that is better than he realises and you wish you could give him that kick in the arse that would make him believe in himself. Hell there’s probably a bit of Kev in most of us but let’s talk about a specific Kevin. Kev has been a regular in my blog for years AKA Kitbag, Komms Kardashian, Arthur Daley and many others. One of the #4HM. I’ve done a lot of parkrunning with Kev, including the crazy snow one at Drumchapel and a lot of other runs with him over the years, from short efforts to marathon training over the Transmitters.
Kev has been aiming for his 100th parkrun and was due to hit it a month or so ago, but the weather was unkind so it was literally put on ice. I’m glad about that because he went away and decided that he wanted to try and run a fast parkrun having not been under 21 minutes for quite a while now. He got his focus and started doing track work with the Legend, and now a month later, with myself and the Legend in tow, he was ready to do that 100th run. Myself and Jim were more than happy to offer pacing services to him, the plan being one of us would watch the pace, the other would watch the Kev and make sure he didn’t drop off that pace. Aim for 4.10 kms and see where we were the final k. There is that legendary extra 30 metres or so at Strathy too so that would be factored in too. Now it was a cold morning but it was as still as you are going to get at Strathy. Minimal wind. Big turnout field all ready for Kev to take his bow. 6 years Kev had waited for this moment. 99 parkruns on road, gravel, mud and snow, from Manchester to Livingston, even braving Greenock. His special moment. He toed the front of the starting line waiting for his announcement. Kevin Durnian has worked for this. He has earned this. “And congratulations on his 100th parkrun goes to Kenneth! Ooops I mean Kevin. Durnham.” You had to be there really, but one of the funniest moments I have experienced in a long time. With laughs and comments of “Gaun yersel’ Ken!” We were off.
Ken with Barbie
As usual people flew off like rockets, I thought Christie was on line for a sub 15 the way he went off. I have learned from my pacing mistakes at the Cumbernauld 10k where I went out too fast so let the field and the GPS sort itself out, don’t get caught up, don’t go out too fast, and don’t fall on your arse. Everything cool. Maybe 1 or 2 seconds slow at 500m but that’ll unwind. “Lads we’re going too slow! ” Stop looking at your watch and shut it Kenneth. Trust us. Through 1k in 4.10.6. Almost perfect. The second k can be a bit funny to keep pace on due to the curve and the trees, and on the other side there was a bit of ice but this always the best bit to get your final 30 metre banker in. Through that one in 4.06. On target. I was on watch duty and Jim doing a great job of keeping Kev in touch. I always find the third k the most difficult on a 5k and the one you need to work on the most. This to me is where it is won or lost. I shouted this to Kev.
He looked at me like I was the devil.
But he dug it in. I was using 3 and 4 as my stash, but I wasn’t telling Ken, sorry Kev that. 4.08 for no. 3, a couple of seconds in the bank. 4k done, 4.08, another couple of seconds in the bank. 4k time split 16.32.7. A final 4.10, plus the expected extra 4 seconds or so would bring us in at 20.46. Kev’s parkrun PB was 20.54 and his 5k PB was 20.49. It was on. The added target of MAC’s Tokyo targeting Dicko in front was also appetising but I could hear Kev’s breathing getting heavier. The wee man was working his socks off but myself and Jim weren’t for letting him chuck it, as much as we were worried we’d get covered in vomit at any moment. In your own hands now mate. If you want it it’s there. Like the Tour de France myself and Jim then started the lead out for the sprint, with Kev behind us. 200 to go and past Dicko. 100 to go and out came Kev for the sprint. Breathing heavier than a dodgy celebrity comedian on his twitter DMs (edited to keep myself out of bother). Boom he was away and over the line. His first top 20 finish at Strathclyde and smashing his PB in a time of 20.36. To be honest myself and Jim were never having it any other way than a PB, but I think we had more faith in him than he had in himself. That sub 20 HAS to be a realistic target now. Well done mate 🙂
Manchester preparation carried on for me with a slow loop of the park then a 16 miler on Sunday, Unfortunately manflu had kicked in and I shouted at sheep at the top of the transmitters before my foot sunk through the ice into mud, but job done 🙂
I am going to be doing a wee trial for a company called GoPo, the info is here GoPo introduction
If you have enjoyed reading then my wee reminder. Please consider a wee vote for me in the Running Awards. I still haven’t taken my top off on instragram or grown an Andy Butchart moustache.
I will put the voting link in each blog, hope you don’t mind, it’s below under Online and Publications, then personal blog. Voting reset when the shortlist was announced, so if you voted before please do it again, or I will be last 🙂
So here’s the song. REM. For Kenneth Durnham.