Triathletesworld.co.uk Multimedia Designer James Barnard is nicknamed 'PB' for a reason. But how many seconds can he slice off over 5K in Hyde Park?
One of the many advantages of office life at TW is the staff. In the building, I have access to a plethora of ultra-runners, coaches and experienced athletes, all ready to give up their lunch breaks. Through lunchtime running clubs, I've managed (over the course of about 6 months) to knock my 5K PB time down from around 24 minutes to 19:56!
Admittedly, this time is not official. It was measured during one particular Thursday in April, at a 5K handicap race against the people at the Virgin London Marathon. As you can see from my Garmin stats, the distance is slightly less than 5K. So, as yet, I can't officially boast about running sub 20-minutes.
I ran this time at the peak of my physical fitness. It was two weeks before the London Marathon, after four months of hard training for my stint as a Runner's World pacer. But the route I ran on this fateful Thursday is fraught with traffic lights, tourists, school kids and an astonishing amount of other runners. So the last relay leg of the Hyde Park Triathlon (sprint distance) will be a chance to record an official 5K time with a truly clean run (no excuses)!
It'll also be my first triathlon. OK, it is a relay. So I won't have to endure a completely new discipline like most newcomers, and I'll be competing in the leg in which I'm the strongest. But a full, Olympic distance triathlon is definitely an accomplishment I want ticked off the list before I die, and a relay attempt is the perfect way to gauge the field and find out the tips and tricks from some experienced tri-hards before donning that wet suit.
Plus, as part of the TW web team, it's high-time I got invloved in triathlon. But unfortunately for Dom and Alice, I am extremely competitive. So there'll be no half-hearted, 'get-you-round' attempts at this. It's gung ho or nothing!