Give Him An Ince And He’ll Take A Mile

(Editor's note: Chris Ince's original title for this article was 'The Worst Runner in Surrey, but still better than Richard McDowell'. I thought this was a bit out of order as neither of them are Surrey's fault).


Exec Summary

I've written this partly in the style of a report for work, which is nice.

On Saturday 19 February I had the excitement of “running” in the final race of Division 4 of the Men’s Surrey League ( – I’m writing about it because although I had to run in *cough* proper club colours *cough*, it was a fine BBRC level performance.
Let’s be honest up front, I came last. The extract from the results shows my performance, a good 2 minutes behind the person in front of me and I was 5 minutes behind someone in the V75 category.

This picture shows me running, I think probably just before I almost got lapped by Ben who won. I don’t hate Ben, I’ve never met Ben, but I’m glad he wasn’t any faster….

Anyway, I will now attempt to cover the race in slightly more detail and provide some feeble justification for my abject performance.

The Men’s Surrey League has 4 divisions and my team is in the 4th, the Golden Eagle of the running world if you will. Strangely Division 1 don’t run with the other men but run at different events with the ladies. You can draw your own conclusions on what this means but let’s just point out that Richard McDowell and Ross Macdonald both run in those events.
I’d run in two other events in the series and run perfectly averagely at Epsom Racecourse and then jogged around Richmond Park in the sunshine, much to the horror of my teammates who thought it was a race. Fools. Last race of the series was at Lloyd Park, Croydon (ish).

The main event
So…. the race was at 2pm on Saturday 19th February. This had been in my diary for weeks. The ladies (and men’s D1, see above) were cancelled due to trees falling over…oh boo hoo you big lame babies.
As the race didn’t start until the afternoon I decided I’d pop out for a drink with a friend after work. Confession – may have had a couple of drinks on way to meet them. End result, I’m drinking tequila and dancing in a nightclub at 2.30am on Friday night – well, now Saturday morning. FFS. I drank a lot, I partied hard. You get the drift.
I think I woke up on the sofa in the morning, at home fortunately. I didn’t feel very well. I took the dog for a walk. I didn’t feel much better. Then I remembered I had to get to Croydon. Arse. Looking back now, my memory of that trip is hazy. We got the train and a tram. It was windy. It was raining. It was horrible. I had to pretend I was ok. Typical Saturday really – but with wind and rain.

"Very quickly I was out the back and being overtaken by people who had turned up late"

The race started on time, which was a blessing and I decided I’d jog near the back and try to get around without embarrassing myself. Very quickly I was out the back and being overtaken by people who had turned up late. The course was 2 loops so very quickly I got to see people running back towards me, and away from me. Essentially, anywhere but with me. It was lonely.

Pretending to be happy seemed the order of the day, I wasn’t. Do you remember school cross country, running round a cold wet muddy field with people shouting “encouragement” at you? It was like that, with some of the abuse coming from your own family. Again, typical Saturday on reflection.
I fell over on lap one and got muddy. Here is the mud and my mud soaked gloves. I kept my jacket on all race so it didn’t even look like I was taking part, why did I even bother? Dunno, pass the time maybe? Sense of self loathing?


As mentioned at the start, I almost got lapped – this is not uncommon but somewhat embarrassing on a two lap race, so I did speed up a bit and then started my second lap. It was the same, just muddier and super slippy due to everyone else having run up same hills. The only plus point was my hangover had gone. However, I had realised I was last on the course as the person I had overtaken was unable to walk and so DNF’d. From my own club. Thanks.

Reaching the finish line there was a sense of disappointment from the organisers that anyone could be so slow but they grasciously let me finish. About 2 minutes before they started the Division 2 race. I hope I hadn’t held it up….

Then I went to the pub. The pub was much better.

'Mud is dirty, like your Mum'

Conclusions & Recommendations
These are short and sweet:

  • I’m a better runner than Richard McDowell as I went out and ran where as he stayed at home because a few trees had fallen over
  • Coming last is OK. Someone has to come last. Maybe they should have had a tailwalker as it was, after all, a race in a park
  • Running hungover is fine, it should be encouraged
  • Mud is dirty – like your mum


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