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Lincoln 10K – Race Day Preparation

In my house I’m known as Last Minute Paulie, as ‘Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow?’ is a motto one could easily associate with me. Rather than get the lawn mower out this week, for instance, I’ve been happily watching the grass grow, employing the ready excuse of it being too damp while bestowing the virtues of a natural meadow look to the chap a couple of doors down who obviously doesn’t approve.

In spite of my proclivity to procrastinate, though, to ensure a good race day experience I am planning to be prepared way in advance. By that I mean sitting on my backside, browsing running websites for tips and not acting on them. As you would expect, of course, the advice to be had is entirely practical.  Pace yourself…eat the right amounts of the right foods…make sure to use the facilities before the gun goes off…etcetera and so forth. I know, though, from my limited racing experience that these mostly-helpful websites will fail to mention the following:wpid-imag0265_1.jpg

Enjoy running on the road.  In the first road race I ever took part in I was almost overwhelmed at the realization that the road was closed especially for me and my fellow racers, and with every race since I have enjoyed the same feeling. In fact, this is almost worth the entry fee alone, especially as the local residents have no doubt been moaning about it on social media for a few weeks prior.

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Lincoln 10K – Legacy

As I’ve written previously, I only ended up entering the Lincoln 10K as the route goes through one of the grids from The Lincoln A to Z map, which is due to the overly convoluted radio program I present. Each episode is constructed from what we find in a randomly selected grid square. The route of the Lincoln 10K goes through this grid three times, so I’ll be running through the grid describing the scenes and my feelings and Jonny, the programs producer, has elected that he will describe events from the spectators point of view.

So far we have completed 30 of the 52 grids, which the esteemed Trefor Davies also contributes his glorious verbal dexterity to. The program has given me a different way of viewing the city. As I ride on the cycle path, past the ‘only just out of town’ retail park, I remember the miserable, drizzly morning we spent trying not to moan too much  about our consumer driven concrete surroundings.

Lincoln being the place I have spent most of my life has personal memories scattered all over its landscape. One grid stands out though, the grid where, with my family, we watched the Olympic flame being passed from one of the torch bearers to another. I’ll never forget the look on that mans face as he received the flame, its was a ‘lottery win plus your team beating your nearest rivals 5 – 0 multiplied by the birth of your children’ kind of look, one that illustrated joy, excitement and emotion. I’m please I wasn’t one of the many experiencing this moment by looking through a smartphone, its burnt onto my memory banks and from that moment on, the Olympics transformed from being the usual British pavement looking attitude to seeing just how high we could soar.

When we revisited that grid for the program, Jonny and I asked the question “Has the legacy of that incredible few weeks lived on?”

If the Olympics was like a euphoric time when you and your friends went on a bender and beat the night, the word ‘legacy’ had just about sounded out of the closing ceremony when the inevitable hangover over of the sports funding cuts hit. The highfalutin sports – sailing and equestrian faded back out of the grasps of the underclass  and you could almost hear the water being drained out of swimming pools when British swimmers didn’t reap success at the following world championships. Just lately, The Royal Mail had a PR disaster when they didn’t reward our successful Winter Olympians and Paralympians with a gold post box. The legacy it seems isn’t worth the price of a pot of gold paint.

The good news is that 2 days before the Lincoln 10K we get to see the inspirational Winter Paralympic athlete Jade Etherington take part in an open top bus parade. The tour will also take in schools the day before the pupils take part in road races too. Huge congratulations to Jade and lets hope we can relive a little of that magic time and inspire the Lincoln 10k runners.


Paul Tyler presents Lincoln A to Z on Siren FM


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Lincoln 10K – The Bad Run

Thursday Morning

The radio program I present, Lincoln A to Z, is formulated by 52 randomly selected grids from the Lincoln A to Z map. We have a basic structure, but the tone and timbre of each program is guided by the contents of the grid. Out of the 30 programs we’ve made so far, its fair to say that a couple have left my producer and I scratching our heads and wondering what went wrong. By no means are these programs terrible, they just didn’t flow or turn out how we planned.

OK, one was particularly terrible, but once the program was over we retired to the office (pub) to discuss how to improve and avoid making the same mistakes again.

During a period of training, at least one run will be atrocious. It can be the simplest thing that knocks you, a stitch, traffic lights or tripping over a dog. Its frustrating at the time, feelings of failure kick in, heightened by the fact that you are out of breath. But I know that like the occasional below par radio programs (you try making an hour and a half radio program about a bungalow heavy street in suburbia), I know that its not the end of the world and that rather than it be a failure, it is in fact these hiccups that make you better in the long run.

The internet, bless it, is full of annoyingly positive statements like this:

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Lincoln 10K – Habits

I once had an idea for a radio program based on Top 10 Lists. I shared this idea with a very talented and occasionally furious radio producer, who informed me that “Lists are what people produce when they run out of ideas”.


So with that in mind here’s a list of my bad running habits.