800 the Movie
I thought about titling this post "Laurent Yves St Claire-Monfrere's revenge". As fortune would have it, I was racing my adversary from the 3000 metres on 27 July, Lily du Maurier-Passante. If you recall, young Lily accompanied me for the whole race and steadfastly refused to be overtaken — surging like Tirunesh Dibaba every time I dragged my ponderous body to her side.
This time I fashioned a tactic to thwart Lily's surging style. At the sound of the gun, I sprinted hard from the curved starting line and positioned myself ahead of Lily as we ran up the back straight for the first time. The race was being led by one of the three adults in the race — another master, somewhat younger than myself. In second and third place, running side-by-side were U14 runners Caitlin and Corey. I sat behind these two and ran through the first 200 metres of the race in 40 seconds.
I steeled myself to accelerate should young Lily try to overtake. Luckily she didn't, and I was happy to follow C&C through the first 400 metres in 84 seconds. Then I ran as fast as possible for the next lap, arms pumping and throat burning. C&C sprinted with 100 metres to go, whilst I was already at maximum speed and starting to get that lactic-arms feeling. The finish line couldn't come soon enough. I safely held my fourth place, with Lily finishing fifth, just over a second behind.
In one respect, the 800 metres is very similar to the marathon. A couple of days later, I'd forgotten the pain and was already planning how to improve in my next race. Madness? This is the 800! Runners... Prepare for glory!