Ouroboros: Veterans AC 10,000m Championships, Battersea

Race Date: Wednesday 13 September 2023

The Ouroboros, the snake that has swallowed its tail, is an ancient symbol representing the cycle of life. It may also be used to describe the 10,000m where, over 25 laps of the track, nearly everyone except the leader may be lapped, sometimes more than once, requiring concentration by the track judges to ensure that all the competitors are called through and the bell is rung at the correct stage.

The Ouroboros, symbol of the eternal cycle, in a 1478 drawing in an alchemical tract.

This event, expertly hosted by Vets AC a club for over 35’s primarily in London and the South East, had 49 competitors spread over three heats. The aim was to run to schedule early on then chase down the usual collection of those who have been too ambitious and fade as the laps begin to bite. Whilst a negative split of over forty seconds suggests a faster time may have been possible, in terms of the race itself this strategy worked well finishing fifth after whittling away at a pack of five who were well ahead at one stage. Third place was over the hill and far away but being done on the line by 00.04 seconds by a septuagenarian who had been passed 600m earlier rankled but then he was only six years older; the analogy of the Ouroboros continues.

Heat One (18 finishers)

Pos Name Cat Time
5 (1) Peter Brown M60 46:30.71

Electronic timing with a nice big clock (hence times in hundredths of a second) eases the difficulties of mental arithmetic. First in category may impress some however this was only good for fifth out of seven M60’s with the first one running an impressive 38:26.01. Fastest on the night were M50 Andy Bond (Dulwich/Vets) 33:11.82 and F40 Lara Bromilow (Milton Keynes) 36:23.31.

Link to full results should further dissection of performances be required. Vets AC 10,000m Championships 2023 (Note, the winner of heat one who effectively ran a time trial in 37:31 and lapped the entire field two or three times, should have raced in heat three but had a train to catch).

The complexity of getting numbers straight is exasperated by having them back and front plus an extra one for age category. Note the track legal Saucony Fastwitch as carbon fibre are not permitted.


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