A Little Too Windy…
“Daughter who doesn’t run” thinks she needs a new title, as she is about to compete in her third road race in as many weeks. Poor love has hardly done any training, as she has been in the Alaskan wilderness for 7 weeks, then on her return to the UK, she was confined to barracks in Leeds completing her dissertation. All she really wanted was to come home for some R&R and her mother then tempts her into action by firstly paying the entry fees of races and secondly by suggesting there might be a Technical T Shirt at the end of them.
So perhaps I should call her “Daughter who doesn’t train”? At least she takes after her mother in this respect!
The day before the Truro Half arrives, and I have noticed on the TRC Face book page, that Gary Pascoe is not too willing to rise to the challenge of baking a cake for our fund raising stall. He even had the cheek to suggest that this was “Women’s Work”. I decide to spring into action “Delia” style. I’m no match for Nigella, the sex goddess of all things food related, but I can quickly whip up ………..wait for it boys……….an iced Lime and coconut cake. So pre race warm up was cake baking for me.
06:30 on the 16th arrives and the alarm activates. It is time to crawl out of bed and have some breakfast. I haven’t slept at all well, and this has nothing to do with pre race nerves, more “Woman of a certain age” issues. I am going to try a small bowl of muesli today which I’ve left to soak in milk over night, (to make it nice and soggy), then I’m topping that with a yogurt and some fresh raspberries. It tastes good, but will it sit well, once I start running. It has 3 hours to settle, so fingers crossed. “Daughter who doesn’t train” is going for toast, jam and banana.
“Husband who plays golf” doesn’t need a new title, he played golf yesterday but today he will be donning a TRC reflective tabard and metamorphosing into a “Race marshal”. This is his second venture into such a pastime…. the novelty factor though, is fading fast. I might have to leave it another year before asking again.
No driving to the race venue today, just a gentle stroll downhill to Lemon Quay, a walk of about 10 minutes max. The marquee is upright, an air of calm hangs over the Plaza and I find Alison sifting through bright orange T shirts for teams to collect. Steph appears to be organized as does our Race Director Diane, so it’s time to get daughter entered into this race as adopted TRC runner.
I’m 50 today. No it’s not my birthday, (that has long gone); it’s my race number and sadly my age. I grab a quick chat with fellow TRC runners and then find myself stood in the back of a lorry trailer, helping with the bag drop, as the bags are arriving quicker than Jon and Lynne can cope with. It’s at this point I lose my “security hanky”. A beautifully ironed man size Hanky, slightly pink in colour (it went in the wrong wash) and I’m mortified. How on earth am I going to manage a half marathon without it? I find a pack of tissues, but it is just not the same.
09:25 and it’s time for the RACE DIRECTOR to give us our briefing. The sun has broken through the clouds and suddenly it has become very hot. The microphone bursts into life and a quiet northern accent utters the words “Quiet please”. For the first time ever, the crowd does as it is told on the first request and we then hear from Diane what we are ALLOWED to do. Basically if a marshal tells you do something, you do it. Only cross when and where you are told to, or else you will be disqualified…….a chorus of “Ooooooooo” is heard from some men to my side. You tell them Diane, I think and after the last few do’s and don’ts, we are on our way.
A quick loop around the cobbled streets of Truro we go. No one appears to fall or stumble and we then disappear under the Tesco’s subway and out along the river walk towards Newham and the disused railway line. Daughter and I are side by side, with Claire ahead and I think Lynne is just behind. We are running at a nice steady pace but we aren’t talking much. We haven’t fallen out, just conserving oxygen.
At the end of this old railway line, we turn left downhill steeply to Callenick and then it’s the long slog uphill past Kea school to playing place. This is where I know daughter will soon be ahead of me. I’m a plodder up the hills, but she seems to be able to run them…..younger and longer legs help! Lynne then flies by, we won’t see her again until after we’ve finished. Just ahead of us is a “Pong”. Not a rural type of pong, No, the male in front has kindly left a very unpleasant aroma in his wake, and we have entered that unpleasant zone. It isn’t helped by the fact that the route has taken us along a steep footpath with high hedges, which only help to heighten this experience. Thanks mate! We must be due some nose and throat clearing very soon. Where is my security hanky when I need it?
At the top of the hill the path levels out and we are in Playing Place. The first water station appears manned by some very enthusiastic scouts who do a sterling job! Congratulations boys. My tissue is starting to fall apart. I could end up looking as if I’ve had a bad experience with a shaver if i carry on using it to mop my sweaty forehead or possibly look as if someone has tried to play “Pin the tail on the donkey” on my face. I might have to resort to my arm instead?
A left turn and we head out along Penhall’s way where Julie is stood with her Pedal Cycle. She has chosen the “Mobile Spectator” option today and cheers us both on. Thanks Julie. Onto Halvarras road we trot, to meet our first test set by the race director, Diane. We have “stop go” boards, people looking official in tabards and we must do as we are told. Today I must set my daughter an example and for once in my life, do as I’m told. No stopping required, road crossed legally as to race instructions and we continue on our way along the cycle path that runs from Playing Place to Carnon Downs.
I’m quite looking forward to this part of the route, as I know we have a nice off road section that goes DOWNHILL. This girl loves downhill sections even if the knees don’t! Daughter and I are still side by side at this point. As my eyes usually spend a lot of time looking at the ground during races I happen to notice a scattering of rubber bands. They have all landed in circles and they are red yellow blue and green in colour. They could almost be the Olympic rings, or maybe they have posh postmen out here. In Truro we only see plain old red bands left all over the pavements.
We now turn left along the old tram road at Devoran, keeping the water to our right and we start the nice flat section of the route that leads to HARRIS HILL.
The views to our right are beautiful over Restonguet Creek. There is hardly any breeze at all, so the sound of the Curlew’s calling out on the mud flats is music to my ears. My feet are sounding heavy but we are at the half way point which is a positive. We also pass a plant stall at the bottom of someone’s drive. Daughter suggests I might like to buy some to take home. Now if it had been veg I could have been tempted but pots with soil and plants in are not the easiest thing to carry on the best of days, so I pass them by.
Harris Hill is now approaching and at the bottom of Trolver Hill I can see Julie with her pedal cycle cheering us on. I start to wonder whether next year I might try this mobile spectator option out, mind you cycling this route would still involve hills.
On the opposite side of the road, I See “husband who plays golf” in his official capacity as a race marshal, looking resplendent in his cycle kit and tabard. I decide it is time to spread my arms wide, shout “Husband” and run at him at full pelt. Full pelt at this point of the race with that hill to follow is a tad quicker than the speed I’ve run along the Tram road. One husband duly kissed, (He didn’t turn into a frog) and embarrassed daughter and I start the ascent of Harris Hill.
She’s off. I do believe she can feel a victory over the mother ship, (this is what my kids know me as) in this race. I continue in my own fashion, never resorting to a walking pace and “man that passed wind” and I, are playing cat and mouse in this race. At least we are on a wider section of the route and a much more airy part of the course should he revert to type.
Daughter reaches the top well before me, and disappears out of view. It has been a steady grind up this hill, but surprisingly not too harrowing or painful. The road feels almost level, but I know it’s not. It will be a steady gradual uphill until we reach the “Stop Go” boards once again.
I can’t seem to make the distance between myself and “Daughter that doesn’t train” any smaller. “Man who passes wind” has over taken me yet again and to be honest, this is starting to hack me off, because he isn’t the leanest of males and I’m starting to feel a little competitive. Oh my god, daughter has started to follow another runner and they are attempting to cross the road other than at the “Stop go” boards. Some woman in a tabard yells at them to get back and they come to heel. That was a close one, I could feel disqualification coming on and it is only her second Half Marathon. Think of the shame it would have brought on the family. It would have been almost as bad as when her mother was sent off the parade ground by the Drill Master for smiling (I was only 18 at the time, but by god that man terrified me).
As I approach the wonderfully marshalled crossing of the B3289 with stern sounding female adjudicator, I cannot see any signs of squashed runners on the road surface, so things must be going well. I am made to pause for about 3 seconds to allow a car to pass, then I am able to carry on my way, back along Halvarras road and last 4 miles of the race.
“Daughter who was nearly disqualified” is still ahead, and I can’t see myself being able to overtake her, but “Man who passes wind” is ahead once again. As we enter the narrow footpath near Kea School I am hoping that downhill running doesn’t put as much force on his bodily functions as uphill’s obviously do.
Downhill we run, and I’m ahead of him.
At the bottom of this hill we have a short steep nip to run up then it is a right turn onto the old railway line again. Legs feel tired now; well actually they have felt fatigued since mile 8, when I had a quick snog with my husband. I have to put some effort in, as I have to overtake that “bl—dy male who passes wind”. Will he not give up and let this old croc have her day?
Tarmac arrives and the last mile has been passed. I’m ahead of that man, and I’m about to pass my daughter. Can I stay ahead of them both? Stress levels rising, I dare not look behind, I just keep willing the legs to run and the slightly increased pace they are running at. Tesco’s subway comes into view; I have to keep left here and up the last slope to the finish line I go. I’ve done it. I’ve crossed the line ahead of “Daughter who doesn’t train” and “Man who passes wind” I smile, job done, but somehow I think the next half the mother ship and daughter run together, the result will be reversed! Daughter might do some training…….ah that means yet another new title for her.
Goodie bag collected, seat found and sat on inside the Race HQ marquee. Large coffee and chocolate bar consumed and we wait for the presentations to cheer Isobel on with her 2nd placed female overall and 2nd female under 35 awards. Under 35, was I ever that young?
Isobel collects her two trophies and onto the next age group. Claire’s name then comes out over the PA and she looks startled, in fact gob smacked would better describe the look she wore as she picked up her trophy. Anne then picks up a prize in her age group, Anne being the TRC runner who wasn’t going to enter this race. Then it was the old and decrepit age group, over 50 but under 55, my age range. No idea who came first as I was talking to my daughter but I did register their time, could I be in with a chance of a trophy……I looked at Diane, the woman in control of the PA system and announcements, and her eyes kept flitting over in my direction. “And the second placed Old croc goes to” the “mother ship”……wow, I’m almost getting to like being this old, but this winning streak will never last! Suddenly there was a slight commotion, Jan, the woman with the computer, starts to whisper in Diane’s ear something about the wrong person being given a prize…oh well it was good whilst it lasted, time to hand back the trophy, a slight déjà vous moment. Steph then shouts “don’t worry Hana, you won’t have to hand it back” and I didn’t. At my age that sort of shock could make a woman have a funny turn.
TRC ladies even picked up a 3rd placed team prize…….wow.
I do believe we had a couple of men walk away with trophies, namely Pete and “Gary who doesn’t make cakes as it’s woman’s work” but it was definitely Girl Power today.
So all in all:
- Parking…………..didn’t need any, as I live close by to the start, but plenty of pay and display parking available in Truro and as it was a Sunday none of the single yellow lines counted, so free parking was plentiful as well.
- Race HQ, couldn’t miss it, great big white marquee on Lemon Quay.
- Baggage drop, well manned with huge demand. Lynn was looking pained at the end of her session
- TIOLETS. Public ones at the each end of the quay, but I chose to not frequent any of them. I chose instead to use my employer’s toilets, which I knew would be queue free. A very wise move.
- Showers, none provided.
- Goodie bag……fab bright orange Technical T Shirt, bottle of “Betty Stoggs”, bottle of water and a banana. What more could a girl want and vastly better than the bottle of Radox bath soak I received at the Plymouth Half.
- Marshalls. Could not fault them. The race appeared to run like clockwork, there was no chance of getting lost and it was great to be cheered on by them all.
- Water stations…….brilliant, and the scouts manning the Playing place one all appeared to be having a ball of a time. Well done lads.
- So will I run this race again? If I can persuade “Husband who plays golf” to marshal, then yes. It’s a great course, close to home with a wonderful atmosphere. Well done TRC Race organisers and crew a resounding 10 out of 10.
- 1:15:03, Colin Snook, CAC
- 1:15:28, Justin Thomas, CAC
- 1:16:13 Rob Keal, Notts AC
- 1:23:40 Naomi Tier, CAC
- 1:27:52 Isobel Wykes, TRC
- 1:33:35 Heidi Cottam, CAC
Truro Half Results 2012 (xls file)
Category 1 – 3
|1||SOWERBY, Peter||1:20:46||06:09.8||Male Vet 45-49||2|
|2||CLELLAND, Philip||1:23:57||06:24.4||Male under 40|
|3||WYKES, Isobel||1:27:52||06:42.3||Female under 35||2|
|4||SOPER, Luke||1:29:19||06:49.0||Male under 40|
|5||MAIDWELL-SMITH, Alex||1:29:43||06:50.8||Male under 40|
|6||PASCOE, Gary||1:30:30||06:54.4||Male Vet 50-54||3|
|7||ADIE, Gordon||1:31:10||06:57.4||Male Vet 50-54|
|8||GOUNDRY, Andrew||1:32:29||07:03.5||Male Vet 45-49|
|9||RAWSON, Steve||1:35:50||07:18.8||Male Vet 55-59||3|
|10||MASKELL, Anne||1:37:33||07:26.7||Female Vet 45-49||3|
|11||MAIDWELL-SMITH, Mark||1:37:58||07:28.6||Male Vet 50-54|
|12||CHIRGWIN, Robert||1:39:30||07:35.6||Male under 40|
|13||HOLMES, Max||1:39:47||07:36.9||Male under 40|
|14||BENNETT, Colin||01:40||07:41.6||Male under 40|
|15||SHARP, Jeremy||1:42:24||07:48.9||Male Vet 50-54|
|16||MCLAUGHLIN, Danny||1:43:20||07:53.1||Male under 40|
|17||MORTIMER, Philip||1:48:27||08:16.6||Male under 40|
|18||DONOHUE, Lynne||1:52:05||08:33.2||Female Vet 45-49|
|19||LONGMAN, Claire||1:52:15||08:34.0||Female Vet 35-39||3|
|20||KNUCKEY, Nigel||1:52:48||08:36.5||Male Vet 55-59|
|21||CLITHEROW, Hana||1:54:23||08:43.7||Female Vet 50-54||2|
|22||CLITHEROW, Leonie||1:54:55||08:46.2||Female under 35|
|23||BALES, Jo||1:55:36||08:49.3||Female under 35|
|24||POPE, Robert||2:03:50||09:27.0||Male Vet 50-54|
|25||KEY, Bethany||2:08:02||09:46.3||Female under 35|
|26||BROWN, Jacquie||2:09:30||09:53.0||Female Vet 45-49|
|27||GILES, Catherine||2:10:01||09:55.3||Female Vet 40-44|
|28||ASBRIDGE, Sarah||2:12:27||10:06.5||Female Vet 45-49|
|29||SHARP, Katie||2:17:40||10:30.4||Female under 35|
|30||GREENSLADE, Jo||2:27:24||11:14.9||Female Vet 35-39|
|31||PALMER, Rachel||2:36:27||11:56.4||Female Vet 35-39|