Friday, July 13, 2007

The annual City boys run

I'm the guy in shorts :-)It's that time of year again, the time of year when lots of cute and handsome City guys take their trousers off, put on their running shorts, and dash round the 5.6k course at Battersea Park for the annual JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge. Needless to say, some of your favourite bloggers took part :-).

This year, due to an injury I got in an aerobics class at the gym last week, I decide to visit my physiotherapist for a lunchtime check-up on the day of the event.

"You should be OK," my physio tells me as he expertly prods my calf muscle in a way that seems designed to inflict the maximum amount of pain, "just make sure that you warm it up properly beforehand."

"Errr, thanks," I say through gritted teeth.

"Actually," he continues, "we get far more business out of the Chase Corporate Challenge than any other running event, even the Marathon!"

"Really," I say surprised, trying to make conversation in the hope that he'll ease up a bit on the prodding, "how come?"

"Well, the event always seems to be full of various office rivalries, forcing people to push themselves harder than they should given that for a lot of them it's the only running event that they do all year. It's all 'No way am I gonna let that bitch from Finance beat me this year!'."

And it turns out that I find myself forced in that kind of situation. There are a few guys from my area at the bank who are running, and a few other guys not running, but when I get back from the physio it turns out that the guys who're not running have started betting with each other on the relative performance of the guys who are.

"You're not going to let that wimp beat you, are you GB?" asks one guy who's clearly backed me to beat one of my colleagues.

"Look mate, I'm not on top form," I reply, "and I've just been to the physio too, I've got a dodgy calf muscle at the moment :-(. That 'wimp' as you call him is also quite a bit younger than me!"

"But you're not the kind of guy to let little things like that bother you!" he continues, "I've got every confidence in you :-)."

Late in the afternoon, I get an email from GBD. We have a history of occasional correspondence with each other, which has developed into a kind of competition where we try to beat each other by writing emails which divulge the minimum amount of information about ourselves:

Hi GB, I seem to remember that you like running. Are you taking part in the JP Morgan corporate challenge run? if so, i'm the cute runner in shorts ;) LOL!
I hope you're well, mate. Take care. GBD xxx

Damm! Brilliant serve!! What on earth can I reply? Eventually I manage

Yes GBD, I'm doing it, I'm the handsome guy in shorts so lets look out for each other LOL :-). GB xxx

but it's weak, just copy-cat, if this went to adjudication I think this rally would definitely be a victory for GBD!

We arrive at Battersea Park in good time, and while everyone is milling around the hospitality areas, I decide to make my running experience count and head off to the start line. One of the problems with these events is getting past the slower runners, but if one begins near the front then everything is much easier and one will almost certainly run a much better time!

The race itself is good fun as always. Although I'm disappointed with my time, at least I manage to ignore the pain increasing in my calf muscle long enough to finish the course. But will my time be good enough to beat any of my colleagues?

While searching for the other guys who were the subject of the bets of our lazier colleagues, I spot another bunch of guys wearing T-shirts with name of cuteCTguy's bank on it, so I wander over to see if he's around. And sure enough, I spot him chatting to a particularly cute guy from the gym that he goes to.

"Oh hi GB," says cuteCTguy smiling.

"Hi cuteCTguy, so did you do a good time this evening?"

He tells me his time, which turns out to be highly respectable.

"Not very good I know, but I'm still quite pasta heavy after my recent trip to Italy :-(," he explains.

That's as maybe, but you're still several minutes faster than me at the moment!

Eventually, I manage to find the other guys from my area at the bank.

"Hey GB," says the younger guy who I'd been trying to beat, "so how did you do?"

Although he looks very sweaty and tired, he's got a big grin on his face! I decide to tell him my time and get it over with.

"Awwwww," he exclaims, "Damm!! Very close though :-)."

He tells me his time and it turns out that I beat him by less than half a minute.

"Where were you though," he continues, "I couldn't find you anywhere before the race?"

"Oh," I say grining mischievously, "I managed to get a spot right at the front :-). I was looking out for you, but I couldn't see you anywhere so I just assumed you'd headed off without me."

"Right at the front?" he says in disbelief, "that's cheating! No wonder you beat me!!"

"Not cheating mate, just making sure I was able to maximise my advantage :-)."

Overall the event was great fun, but I'm going to have a real battle on my hands if I'm going to try and beat that guy again next year!


gayboydiary said...

That was a fun event indeed. Well done on finishing. I hope you're not suffering too much today.

GBD xxx

Anonymous said...

I miss cuteguys blog...glad he is alive and well but we do miss him..