Saturday 24th November and it is batten down the hatches, gale force winds and torrential rain is the weather outside. Flood warnings by the score, Trees down left right and centre, I could be needing an Ark to get to the race tomorrow.
Sunday 25th and my alarm clock sounds it’s usual 6:30 melody and all is peaceful outside. I know this will not last, as the lovely TV weather lady told me so yesterday, but will this calm hold long enough to run the race in the DRY? Dad, can you do your magic for me please? For those of you who don’t know, my Dad keeps a watchful eye over me form his Spitfire high up in the clouds and he has kept me dry every race this year, (from rain that is) so fingers crossed for today.
Julie has left me in the lurch, so “Sidney Skoda” and I make our lonesome way to Falmouth, along roads that look as if a tornado has swept through. Oh b-gg-r, “ROAD CLOSED” at Devoran, so a detour along the back lanes is required.
I arrive at Falmouth nice and early, so this year I am able to park in the car park next to Gyllynvase beach, and the FINISH LINE. This means that if I’m too knackered to go any further at the end of the race, it will only be a short stagger to the car. Another car parks next to mine and it’s time to start my “Race Tart” routine.
Ian the driver and only occupant of this car, yes we have exchanged names, and I walk along the sea front to the race HQ at the Falmouth Pavilions. Last years race HQ is just a building site now, as it burnt down earlier this year. Once inside the door of the Pavilions, I turn into fickle female and leave poor Ian to fend for himself, as I can see TRC runners at the far end of the room. Well done girls, one table secured for the after race presentations!
Over the loud speaker we hear an announcement, well two actually. One is in relation to anyone who owns a silver estate, car reg ——- as it is now resting against the bus parked to it’s rear. Maybe a handbrake failure? Now Sidney Skoda is in front of that bus, I must go and check he is OK. The second announcement is that the race start time will be delayed by 15 minutes due to Road closures and runners not being able to get here on time.
Time passes in the nice warm race HQ and the thought of running is not at all appealing. I feel nervous, then someone suggests I should check out the Loo’s, as they are really quite good. So as I always do as I’m told, I dutifully go off to review the loo’s.
Nice large entrance into a large room with a plentiful array of cubicles. Absolutely no queue whatsoever and I’m straight into a modern cubicle, with nice clean toilet and plenty of soft toilet roll. There is even a hook on the door to hang my car keys on, so I don’t have to relive the “fishing an item out of the loo” moment I had earlier this year. The only tricky bit to using this toilet, was selecting which button to press to work the flush. There was one large and one small silver button to press, too much choice….large button selected and water a lovely shade of beige/brown does the job. This must be an Eco loo, with “rain harvested water”. They won’t run out of that commodity today!!!!!!!
Off to car park I walk. “Sidney” is OK, but the car that was parked next to mine, is leaning up nice and cosy like, against an old bus. In the car’s window is displayed of all things, an “ADVANCED DRIVER” sticker. How ironic is that? Advanced Driver had failed to complete his cockpit drill before leaving his car. I won’t name any names, but he knows who he is and when I spoke with him later, he begged me not to name him. I won’t in this paragraph, but his name does appear in this report and he isn’t a TRC runner! Time to guess who he is????
Off to where all the runners are gathering near the Gylly Beach café and I attempt a very short warm up jog, just to see if the legs are more willing than the rest of my body. They move, so with gloves on as my only defence to the wind and possible rain I head for the start line…and move easily towards the front 1/3 of the runners. Time for the pre race briefing.
With the wind blowing, people chatting I couldn’t hear all the advice given, but I heard a word that doesn’t normally feature in the pre race dictionary……Seaweed. Yes Seaweed, we were told we might encounter some in the Swanpool beach area along with tree debris and water. Water features heavily at this part of the route as the sea is to your left and a lake to your right!
1,2,3 and we are off. Off uphill, which isn’t the greatest way to start any race and the coughing and grunting starts all around me. Izzy is somewhere ahead in the distance already, I can see Helen and Lynn is just a few strides ahead. Most of the boys are long gone. The road levels slightly then turns right up a small hill before a left and down past the cemetery. Oh no, the grunting behind is getting worse. I know I’m coughing, but my lungs do protest on cool morning runs, but I’m not in “porn mode”. I’m not sure I can cope with two weeks on the trot of this noise pollution?
The road levels out, the lake is to my right and the road has very large puddles. No one drowns, and I can’t see any marauding seaweed!
The race route now winds around the edge of the lake and at the far side we encounter a river. A river that wasn’t there the last time I ran this route. It has completely covered the road and we the runners have no option but to plough through it. Eeek, that’s cold, as it seeps over the tops of my shoe and soaks my feet. At least it isn’t muddy.
Now it is up hill back past the cemetery and “porn grunts” are reaching a climax. Suddenly it all goes quiet. I dare not look behind, he might have died. I have managed for the first time in ages to pass Lynne. I had been running a couple steps behind her, using her as a gauge to how fast I should run. This will not last. This will put me under stress. All I will hear is the rustle of her race number and I will think/know she is in hot pursuit.
Ah, a nice gentle down hill back towards the sea front is ahead. Trip hazards of speed calming humps are plentiful, but everyone around me survives another day. Supporters line the route and even encourage us TRC runners….thank you kind souls. A man wearing a Pocahontas wig and skirt overtakes along with another male in a pink wig and skirt. I can cope with this, but if it was a bunch of banana’s like Leeds, I might not be amused.
The road along the sea front is deceptively uphill, then after a mile turns left downhill before we have to tackle Pendennis rise. The clue is in the name….RISE. it’s no mountain, but it brings back bad memories for me and the Falmouth Half marathon. I did not want to start the retching syndrome once again. I manage to keep running, the lungs aren’t too bad and I know I’ll be rewarded with a down hill before too long.
I’m now worried that my good fortune is about to run out. We have 1 ¼ miles to go, and this is where I usually run out of steam and Lynne and Co sail pass. I hear someone shout “Car coming” I’m sure it’s Lynne, but dare not look over my shoulder. The female overtakes…..it’s a Hayle runner, phew. Someone else shouts “car coming” it again sounds like Lynne. For goodness sake woman, stop being so silly, just get on with running and what will be will be. Another Hayle runner passes.
The final mile of what the “Leeds Half” organisers would describe as undulating terrain is ahead. For us Cornish, this is FLAT, almost down hill. I try to accelerate but the legs ignore my instructions. I seem to have activated “cruise control” and there is no override button.
The finish line is in sight. I cross it in 40 mins and something. Some inconsiderate man, tries to tell me to make my way swiftly through the funnel. I’m too tired to move faster and start to protest, but think better of it.
Drink of water consumed and off to collect my race Goodies. Fantastic….we are given a Buff, this year in bright blue with dear old Betty Stoggs and Falmouth Road runners Logo on it. Julie had mentioned that she was miffed to miss this race and the chance of another Buff, so I smile sweetly at the lady handing them out. Give a sob story of how my wonderful friend is so sad to have missed this race, with this, she gives me a second one just to get rid of me. On the floor next to this lady is a cardboard box with “beanie hats” inside, in very, very bright night vision yellow. I was tempted, just for a second, but then thought better of it. I do not do Beanie hats!!!!!! Now it is time to collect the bottle of “Betty Stoggs” beer, “Husband who isn’t playing golf today”, will be pleased, oh and a banana.
Race HQ returned to and I decide to hit the drinks area fast, before the queues start. Tea for one and a large slab of carrot cake purchased, now to sit down and enjoy. No sooner than I reach the TRC reserved table, than a male on the St Austell table adjacent to ours, bears his naked upper half and starts spraying himself, liberally with deodorising spray. I want to kill him. I hate sprays, and my cake and tea is now being covered in the fine particles which are hitting the back of my nose and throat. Grrrrrrrrrrr !!!!!!!
Now we are in for the long wait re the year’s presentations. Richard has noted all of the TRC runners results for today’s race, and I must apologise to him, as I did suggest he was being slightly nerdy, even boarding on Anorak. I didn’t mean it and you won’t hear that very often. I would also like to point out that Nigel was wearing a 1997 Mob Match T shirt…..15 years old and still in one piece…a tad faded though. Are you that old Nigel???????
TRC collected a few prizes and when you collected your trophy you also received……..wait for it…..this is a first…..breaking news………..A very large can of GLASS CLEANING PRODUCT. I did ask if it came with someone to clean my windows and the man handing them out said it could be arranged…..OMG I’m speed dating again and I’m a married woman.
Best news of all………………TRC women’s team came first at the Mob Match, in our Club’s category. The Girls came away with a rehydration product………a bottle of wine. Girls rule once again!
So all in all, a perfect end to what could have been a dreadful day.
- weather behaved.
- parking good, if you remembered to apply your hand brake
- toilets, state of the art and eco friendly
- Goodie bag……Fab.
- Race HQ, cosy and served us well.
- Marshals…all great and on this route you cannot possibly get lost.
- will I run it again. If I do the GP series next year….ah, I’ve already entered the first two 2013 races……then yes.