It was wet, it was dark, and a pre-Christmas drink may have seemed a much more appealing prospect… but 13-and-a-half pairs turned out for our inaugural Christmas predictor paarlauf.
The concept was simple: each pair would run alternate laps, completing 8000m in total. We’d ask each pair to estimate their finish time in advance, and they’d then run it – without a watch – to test their pace judgement. The winners would be those who came closest to their prediction.
It didn’t seem quite that simple once we started! Incoming runners got tangled up with outgoing, and we weren’t entirely confident everyone was managing to keep track of how many laps they’d run.
John gallantly attempted to record lap counts for everyone, not helped by the race numbers disintegrating in the rain. (It wasn’t even forecast to rain tonight!) He commented afterwards that this was the most challenging thing he’d done since doing the same job at the Highgate Night of the 10,000 PBs.
Meantime, Fiona attempted to read finish times on a wet stopwatch screen, through a pair of wet glasses, while Lynn attempted to write it all down, through a pair of wet glasses, onto a wet piece of paper.
Strangely enough, however, when we retreated to the warm dry clubhouse, it all seemed to make sense. Everyone ran faster than their predictions, but the pair who came closest were Carol and Breege, who were only 19 seconds adrift. (Chocolate Santas duly awarded). Santosh and Sean were pretty close too, at less than a minute away from their predicted time. (They were also pretty quick, full stop). Mark D and Andy Bowen were third closest.
Annette and Liz were the most inaccurate, and received a tube of Randoms each. (Ladies, you are a lot quicker than you think!) Justin and Bob were a bit out too, but Justin is quite new to track running. It should also be noted that on one occasion Bob was deep in conversation when Justin completed his lap. If he’d done that a few more times, they’d might have been going home with the Randoms instead.
All in all, rather a fun way to conduct a track session, at least for those of us not having to take part. Thanks also to our West 4 second-claimers Andy & Dave for bringing club-mates Anna and Sarah along to join us.
8000m times/predictions (difference):
Santosh Rai & Sean Hanrahan 25:52/26:50 (0:58)
Mark Delahunty & Andy Bowen 26:17/27:40 (1:23)
Mark Kencroft & Rob Brown, with Sarah Gerrie 27:30/29:35 (2:05)
Colin Foster & Dave Cobb 27:48/30:12 (2:24)
Martin Daoud & Malcolm Woolsey 28:32/32:00 (3:28)
Anna Critchlow (W4) & Sarah McIntosh (W4) 30:18/32:15 (1:57)
Andy Leung & Liam Kencroft 33:16/35:30 (2:14)
Carol Jones & Breege Leane 33:51/34:10 (0:19)
Rachel Hearson & Mark Fuller 36:55/35:29 (1:26)
George Davidson & Gary Stringer 36:36/40:00 (3:24)
Justin Kempley & Bob Stanbrook 38:03/43:00 (4:57)
Sally Murnaghan & Mariona Sorrosal 39:02/41:00 (1:58)
Annette Galloway & Liz Mann 39:19/45:00 (5:41)