Virtual 5k Experience By Peter Downie

Author: Peter Downie

Another account by one of our BMAF members.

“I recently ran for Highgate Harriers in the BMAF Virtual 5k Relays. 

Hmm, this feat doesn’t really seem worthy of a news item on the BMAF website; I wonder if I could find a way to make it so.  Oh, I know, how about I use it to submit a claim as the club’s “furthest travelled” entry. Perhaps I could give the background as to how this claim situation has arisen.

In 2004, I moved to London, and joined the middle-distance training group at Highgate Harriers.  I think London is an utterly wonderful city.  I think Highgate Harriers is a wonderful athletics club.   

In 2016, I moved to Las Vegas, and continued my membership with Highgate Harriers.  Las Vegas is my favourite place on Earth.  The sunshine brings joy to my heart.  I love the Entertainment Architecture (ooh, bonus points for a fancy term, perhaps) of Las Vegas Strip.  I am fascinated by casinos.  I love my job (helping create games for the aforementioned casinos).

And I love running on Las Vegas Strip.  Early in the morning, we runners are a sizeable portion of the pedestrian population there, along with people from yesterday (ie. late-night revelers), who can sometimes surprise you with a heckle that’s been given a bit more thought than the typical, “Run, Forrest, run.”

The pandemic has sadly meant I haven’t been going to Las Vegas Strip to run.  But I will return.  It is not the end.  And the pandemic should perhaps not just be seen as an end, but as a new beginning.  After four years of not racing for Highgate Harriers, the pandemic (and the virtual racing it has spawned) has brought me a new beginning, of donning the black-and-white hoops once again.  Admittedly, each virtual race seems to have also brought me a new Personal Worst, but this is giving me renewed motivation to get back into some better shape.

Sunday 28th June in the afternoon, Zoe (my wonderful wife) and I went out to get what was going to be a fantastic photo of me running along Sunset Road, in the black-and-white hoops, with the skyline of Las Vegas Strip over in the mid-ground, for inclusion with this.  Sadly, there’s a bit of a dust storm in Las Vegas, just now, and we couldn’t actually see Las Vegas Strip from Sunset Road.  We went and got some doughnuts, instead (briefly ignoring my motivation to get back into some better shape).

And with that, may I submit my claim as Highgate Harriers’ (and possibly even the competition’s) “furthest travelled” entry, at roughly 5,217 miles.”

Peter Downie ( M40)