3:10 to St Ives 2017 - Race Report

By Adrian Bolt

So this morning after thunderstorms and rain, the prospect of racing along the coast seemed less appealing, and trying to dodge holiday traffic on the A30 likewise, but as the morning drew on, it brightened up and not until the Roseworthy Dip was there any traffic hold up.

I usually do a reccy for a new race venue but this time I hadn’t ,so on arriving in Lelant promptly got a bit lost ending up between St Uny church and the golf course. Swift turnaround, straight down past the Badger pub, and along a rather narrow track riverside on to Dynamite Quay. This was a beautiful location beside the estuary, tide out but what water there was, was beautifully clear and you could see out to the beach where the start flags were placed.

It was a warm welcome from the team at registration, quite compact area, 1 gazebo, 1 van and 2 loos, lovely original bibs with the Western movie theme on them, not sure how many entries there were but soon a mixed crowd of club and social runners gathered, big contingent from Mounts Bay and Falmouth, just me and Cassi from Truro though! Fancy dress not compulsory but we had cowboys, inflatable horses, and even a red Indian!

A clear and concise briefing invited us to proceed to the start line on the beach, finding myself near the front I quickly took a few steps backwards, and let the speed merchants set the pace.

Dead on 3.10 the hooter sounded and loving the Remembrance Run, I looked forward to the first half mile on sand, surprisingly quick on this surface. Straight up the beach and round a rocky outcrop, out to a marker and double back before heading up a lovely steep dune, first there, red Indian chief, boy was he quick.

The steep dune was a taste of things to come, following the coast the terrain was quite varied , there were plenty of stepped sections both up and down, so you needed a good stride pattern, the paths were narrow and vegetated, so not much room for passing, obviously after the rain a few puddles needed negotiating, but nothing like the Max, around half way was the water station, which materialised very quickly, welcome relief as the sun was full on and around 22c, before descending on tarmac roads to the beautiful Carbis Bay Hotel whose grounds we ran through, didn’t we get some funny looks from the white gowned residents by the swimming pool.

Post Carbis Bay, it was on towards the railway bridge, a steep set of steps, and then the route followed the train tracks into St Ives, seemingly a bit more downhill than up, but not the steep drop offs of the first half of the race, if you didn’t have a head for heights then you wouldn’t have enjoyed the views of the crystal blue seas..

As we headed into St Ives the paths got a little more congested, with small dogs and children on the loose to negotiate, but once you could see Porthminster beach in all it’s glory, you knew you were nearly home. The beach was busy, the sea was busy, the cafes were busy, you could smell the sun cream, and see the half term holidaymakers.

There was a lovely downhill and flat run in to the finish, and most of the finishers had remained to cheer everyone home. You could even run down to the sea to cool your feet off at the end of the race. There were fantastic medals for finishers, spot prizes, and pasties. First man home, red Indian chief in about 21 minutes, last person home in around 60 minutes. Cassi from TRC home in front of me, I played my favourite trick of going off too fast, so got just over 38 minutes which was 2 quicker than I wanted.

The only problem was, that because you started and finished at different points, nobody at the start told those at the finish we had set off so their times were out by about 90 seconds so need to wait for official results, but there were lovely hand crafted trophies and vouchers for winners.

So, how was my first experience of a Bys Vyken event.

Positives – cost, the same or less than a Grand Prix or MTRS – location was stunning – route was a treat of so many different surfaces – organisation 95% perfect apart from the timing issue – rewards of fantastic medal, pasty etc., better than a lot of races -communication up to event, very up to date.

Negatives – parking cost at start – finding your way back to the start after finishing.

So all in all, far more positives than negatives and hopefully they’ll do this again, with more TRCers considering it. Cassi and I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I think we may both be in the top 60 finishers.

Full Results


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