As the old saying goes, slow and steady wins the race.

The new, more realistic saying, however, sounds a little like “slow and steady will see you finish the race 910th”.

Clear skies over the weekend saw some 2,600 athletes arrive in Kingston for Human Race’s Breakfast Run.

The picturesque, flat course is a dream to run on, even for an amateur like myself.

Some slight confusion at the start line saw me caught up in the eight-minute-mile gang, but things quickly changed and I gradually found my happy pace somewhere near the back of the crowd.

Human Race had arranged for people with tall flags on their backs, labelled with the minute per mile speed, to run the course at a specific given pace - a helpful addition for everyone taking part, withdrawing the need to keep eyes glued to running watches during the race.

The run, which has an 8.2mile route and a 16.2mile double-lapper, takes competitors past Hampton Court Palace before it heads down to the Scilly Isles and then back to Kingston.

Many runners use the longer route as training for the London marathon, just three weeks later, and the pacers on the course offer the perfect guide for those keeping their speed in check.

A constant fluctuation between the metric and imperial systems on my running tracking devices meant I was unsure which bracket I should be running in, so I tried to keep up with the 10-minute-milers for the duration of the run.

Crossing the finish line in 1hr 27mins, moments before the 16-mile winner completed two laps of the course, did not win me any awards, but I finished feeling good and ready to take on the longer distance next time round.

Sports editor Stuart Amos finished the race seven minutes quicker, but we are not talking about that in the office.