On a wet and windy summer’s evening you might be surprised to learn that 17 TRCers joined the 407 strong crowd at the start line of the 7th GP race this season. There were fine finishes for Pete Sowerby, 8th overall, and Isobel Wykes, 2nd lady, with Gordon Adie coming in just 2 seconds behind her – although of course he’s not a lady! Congratulations guys, real stars!
A quick scan down the results list and I notice a familiar name near the top, 14th to be exact. But hang on a minute, surely Anne didn’t run this? No, I thought not. No. 14 was in fact one Paul Maskell from Wells City Harriers. Another talented Maskell? Hmm perhaps I should consider a name change…
After reading the two, yes two, reports below (from Claire and Hana respectively) I’m sure we all wish Helen a speedy recovery and hope to see her back on form for The Max this week. Enjoy the read!
A Fun Run
Well we had planned a lovely family day out with my cousin and her family and James Lloyd and his family (we met James and his lovely wife at my cousin’s 40th birthday last year) at the Sticker race, incorporating picnic, games in the sunshine, fun run and adult run. However we hadn’t planned this weather for June so we ended up at James’ for the afternoon and having to do a good pep talk for the kids to persuade them they still wanted to run in this weather!
I was also planning for my husband to do this fun run with our daughter (I thought I’d got out of it by our other daughter being invited to a party instead) but she had other ideas, so I lined up on the start line with her and off we went. I had to come up with my best motivational speeches during the run but I was soooo proud of her, she’s only 3 and she ran/walked the whole thing when the other little ones around us were carried most of the way, tears a couple of times (mainly when she was getting a lot of attention from the crowd?!) but she made it and collected her medal and her name was in the results list – bless her!
After the ‘fun’ of that run I had to gather my thoughts and go and collect my race number from Alison. Due to the weather most of the runners had crammed themselves and their deep-heat-soaked bodies into the small Clubhouse (the marquee that STARC had put up earlier in the week had blown down, so facilities were limited!) so it wasn’t a pleasurable experience fighting my way through to the far corner and the TRC contingency! I used my daughter as a decent excuse to get out of there quickly and I waited around outside but in the shelter, until we had to make our way to the start.
It was further to the start than I realised but I jogged down with Helen and Cath and we soon found the half of the TRC runners who tend to hang to the back rather than the front of the pack. We weren’t there for long before the horn went and we were off. I had been warned that the start can be fast because it’s downhill but then it’s all uphill for a bit so I tried to be sensible and not set off too fast. I could see Helen, Lynne and Hana ahead so I decided to just try and keep them in my sights. Helen started to pull away but I caught up with Hana and Lynne on the first hill. We had run into Sticker and out the other side, up a hill into the nice countryside and small country lanes. Lynne and I then seemed to strike up a silent pact to keep each other going for a while and we ran step for step, with Hana just behind, until mile 3. At one point the 3 of us were in formation across the narrow country lane which I thought was quite a good tactic to prevent anyone else from overtaking!
At mile 3 (on another hill!) I seemed to pull away from Lynne a bit but I had Nigel in my sights and decided I was going to try and catch him. Then I saw Helen up ahead and couldn’t quite believe it – until I realised there was something up because she was walking. I caught Helen and stopped briefly to check she was ok. She said she felt a bit sick but she didn’t want me to jog with her so I went back to my mission of catching Nigel. I only managed to get him within reach in the last half mile and my plan was to then wait until closer to home before I tried to out-sprint him ;-). He had other ideas however and set off at a faster pace as soon as someone shouted “only 200 metres to go” and he took me by surprise. I gave it all I had in the ‘sprint’ finish (which wasn’t much!) but I did manage to get right on his shoulder and we eventually posted the same time. I think he put more effort in to his finish though because he looked like he was going to be sick as we crossed the line! For me, the time was about a minute slower than Cubert which is probably about right for a slightly hillier course, and still under 40 minutes so I was pleased. I gave my daughter a brief cuddle (always nice to have her – and usually her sister too – at the finish) but I was concerned about Helen so as soon as she crossed the line I went to see that she (and Nigel) was ok. She then revealed that she had actually given blood the day before so I think this was the reason for her queasiness and dizziness (and the reason I could beat her!) and I went to get her a cup of sugary tea!!
After that she perked up a bit and, after seeing everyone else finish, I grabbed my free pasty and we took our daughter (who should have been tired but who had consumed a vast amount of sweets and biscuits while Mummy was out of the picture!) back to her Grandma’s so we could get some sleep before my husband got us up at 5.30am for the Falmouth Triathlon on Sunday!
I really enjoyed the race, facilities were not brilliant but they did the best they could considering the failure of the marquee and I had a fun evening. Great turnout by TRC and some fantastic results again everyone – what a team!
Never Say Never
I do believe that after running the 5 miles at Sticker last year, I declared that I never wanted to run it again. I may have gone as far as to say, that should I be foolish enough to enter this race, someone could shoot me. So this year I cunningly planned a trip to Birmingham to avoid this race.
Plans don’t always go as you want them to do, and trip to Birmingham was cancelled and instead of drinking wine in Brindley place by the canal, I found myself travelling to Sticker on a damp and windy Cornish summer’s evening with Julie, to run the race I never wanted to run again. It must be something to do with my age???????
Any way, the journey to Sticker with Julie driving, was time as always to catch up. Us girls are never short of things to talk about, and funnily enough, running is one of the topics discussed.
We arrive at the usual car park, a field opened just for this event, and I’m glad “Sidney Skoda” has stayed at home, as the grass is long, the field is bumpy and mud is a strong feature. Julie has the 4 x 4 so everything is under control and the car parking marshals are doing a great job. It’s only a short walk to the race HQ, but this year no tents/marquee as the 40 mph winds blew those away. This year it is trailer of an HGV which is rather cosy when you get inside, having climbed the steps made out of wooden pallets. As I hadn’t pre entered this race, I had to register and pay my fee to the two lovely ladies who faithfully attend every race and work magic on the laptop. Race number 329 today.
It’s so cold and we have ages before the race start, so Julie and I head for the club house and warmth. I’m starting to question why I’m actually here and why I’ve just parted with £12 to run a race I really don’t want to do. Julie does suggest that 5 miles is better than a Marathon, should we not manage to get enough GP’s under our belt to get the end of year memento. 5 miles v marathon…..she has a point!
More TRC runners arrive and I see Lynn for the first time in ages. Then Helen, Alison, Catherine and Isobel arrive. Claire is outside doing the fun run with her girls and then I say hello to Jo Bales who I hadn’t met before. A good turn out for the girls. Could we get a team prize? Last year we held a trophy for such a prize for a matter of a few hours before we had to give it back, due to a miscalculation at race HQ.
The cold affects the bladder so I try the toilets out a couple times. There are three Porta Loo’s and I decide to avoid these uni sex option and head for the ladies hidden at the back of the club house. Clean, hardly any queue and plenty of soft loo roll. I think from now on I must add a small critique on the quality of the Loo roll, or in this case, it was the posher stuff, so we’ll call it toilet roll. None of that shiny stuff in this club house!
Well done Sticker.
Race start is out in the lane, so a short walk is required and this is enough of a warm up for me. A large contingent of runners have already mustered at this point, so I decide on the Emperor Penguin tactic and move to the middle to use other people’s body heat to keep warm. It worked. A bit of shuffling was required by us all, as the runners at the front were stood ahead of the start line. A moment’s panic as I hadn’t set my Garmin to find the satellites, but it performed well and it was ready for the off, even if I wasn’t.
Why do women run three or four abreast? They block the road, for those who want to run faster and get past. So retail therapy weaving came to the fore again and I managed to keep up with Claire and Lynne who had managed to get ahead, Helen was going well and Isobel was nowhere to be seen.
A short flattish section is followed by a downhill to the pub at Sticker village. The road is damp and I’m aware of the metal manhole covers ahead, so I try to avoid running on them as I don’t want to slip and slide and fall over. I know what is ahead, a long hill. It’s really not that steep, more a grind, but it makes the legs hurt and lungs protest. Lynne starts pumping those arms and she is off. Hills are not my forte, they occur in most Cornish runs/races and I get up them, but at a comfortable pace, or else I’ll be sick.
This hill passes without too much trouble and a flat section arrives, which on a beautiful sunny summer’s evening would afford great views over the magical Cornish countryside. Not tonight, it’s blustery, cool and grey, but one positive, it isn’t raining! I’m now tucked in behind Lynne and Claire in a Red Arrows “V” formation.
We turn sharp right, along a very narrow lane one car’s width wide and where the hedges have been trimmed and blackthorn lies on the ground waiting to puncture a bicycle tyre or two. The hedges keep the wind off us and then it is down hill again. It’s a steeper descent and I let the legs do what they want whilst I flail with my arms to keep upright.
Lynne and Claire storm ahead, but my legs really don’t have much energy in them to follow in hot pursuit. The last month of races has actually taken it’s toll and maybe I should have rested them…….poor excuse Mrs Clitherow, the truth is they were running faster and better than myself.
A water station appears in the gloom of the valley we are in, with a lovely cheerful bunch of young girls handing out the drinks. I pass by without stopping, but as water stations go, it was working very well indeed.
I seem to remember an up hill, crossing a road, a bit of an incline but nothing too hard, then a downhill. Someone called out my name, but sorry if I ignored you, but I don’t think I had the energy to see who you were. Now I was in the lane near to the race starting point, Garmin showed it was about half a mile to go and I knew this was slightly uphill.
The last 200yds felt like heaven and hell. I didn’t feel like sprinting for the line, but it was great to see the Finish line ahead and as I crossed it, a slight nauseous moment passed quickly and it was all over.
41:06, 29 seconds slower than last year, but better than I had expected. Even the hills had seemed to have improved since last year. Maybe us runners are wearing them away, so should I run this race in 10 years time, it will be more like Cubert’s terrain?
Finish line crossed, quick word with the boys who are already in, and then off to find water and the goodie bag. Helen isn’t looking too well. She gave blood yesterday and I think that maybe they took 3 pints not 1.
So for anyone else who donates blood (I’m too chicken to do so) the moral is….don’t run a race the day after you give blood!
The pasty van arrives, and usually this is the last food item I would chose to eat, but I’m cold and “Pearce’s” steak pasty tasted very good indeed. I’d give them 8 out of 10. This was followed by two mugs of tea to rehydrate.
So all in all
- Would I run this race again………Don’t know, but it didn’t feel as bad as last year.
- Parking. Plentiful but not ideal for low profile tyres.
- Marshals. Great, there was no way you could get lost.
- Supporters, lot’s even on such a miserable evening.
- Toilets. Good, Toilet roll excellent.
- Showers. I didn’t use them, but there was some available.
- Goodie bag. Cloth bag, biro, Balloon in some but not mine and an excellent purple towel. What exactly is the balloon for? Lung function test was the only thought that crossed my mind!
- 0:27:16 Dan Rodgers, Launceston RR
- 0:27:30 Justin Thomas, Cornwall AC
- 0:27:35 Colin Snook, Cornwall AC
- 0:29:20 Emma Stepto, Cornwall AC
- 0:31:57 Isobel Wykes, TRC
- 0:33:10 Heidi Cottam, Cornwall AC
Sticker 5 Results 2012 .xls file
[table id=108 /]