Sticker 5, a mere 5 miles. It will all be over and done with in under an hour, so why oh why do I really dread this race and never want to enter it again? The distance is not one I enjoy, just like Cubert, but to make matters worse, where Cubert is predominately “Cornish flat”, Sticker is “Cornish undulating”….Hilly to you and I. The first year I ran it, I absolutely hated it. I vowed I would never run it again, but what did I do? I ran it gain and I ran it slower to add injury to insult. I thought the Hills weren’t as bad as the first year but was undecided as to whether I would run it again.
So 2013 arrives. V50 category dawns and the fear of being struck down with an injury and not being able to complete the GP minimum 8 races, I enter the race once again. I still tell myself I hate this race, Julie also hates this race, but Sticker V The Turkey trot and Sticker wins hands down.
So a glorious hot June 15th early evening arrives……..Ha bloody Ha! Julie arrives in her 4 x 4 as we know the race car park is in a field and “Sidney Skoda” doesn’t really like fields. No soft top option for us tonight, no, instead it is winter woollies and even a slight temptation to get the “Mob Match Buff” out once again. It is back to chilly windy weather with a hint of sunshine. I try to convince myself that it is summer, so bring the sunglasses out and TRC running vest with nothing underneath it. Goose pimples will be the other item adorning my body tonight.
We arrive with plenty of time to spare as tonight Julie has been given the task to hand out the race numbers and collect the money off TRC runners who have not paid up. This is not an ideal thing to have to do, when there are toilet queues to negotiate and so many people to talk to. I really don’t know how Alison manages to do all this and stay so calm.
We head for the table with the club packs waiting for us to collect and immediately get a demand for £100 up front. Julie goes straight into business mode, states we only have £30 to hand suggests they also have their figures wrong with an assertive air I have never seen her utilise before. I thought I was scary, but she wouldn’t be too far behind. With totals corrected we find a table and await the TRC debtors.
Isobel arrives, clutching her race number as she has entered on the day. She too hates this race, this distance, the time of day for racing and we both wonder why we are there. One thing is for sure, is that she has a far better chance of a prize than I do.
Nigel Knuckey arrives, so I go straight for the jugular and demand £10 from him.
“I thought I’d paid” he says looking all innocent and pathetic.
“not by our sheet you haven’t, no money no race number” is my stern reply.
Poor chap wonders off to his car with his tail between his legs and returns with his money. Job done……. race number issued.
Time for me to find the Loo’s and I leave Julie to collect the missing fees with her friendly smile subtle approach to debt collecting.
More TRC members arrive who are entering on the day and we now have a fairly large contingent, bearing in mind a lot of our regular racers are away in Snowdonia. Plus we have enough Ladies to make up a team……..Fab!
The toilets are hidden away at the back of the football clubhouse and I nearly make an unwise left turn instead of the right I need to take. This wouldn’t have caused me to run an extra mile like the wrong turn I took at the Imerys half marathon (oops sorry, still smarting over that one) I hesitate just long enough to not cross the threshold and enter the deadly zone of the gents toilets. There was no queue of women to lead me to the right area and both toilets had white doors propped open, but error avoided and my needs were met. Toilets clean. Soft loo roll in reasonable supply but one toilet is taking a long time to become vacant due to two small girls sharing the facility and having a lengthy chat about all things relevant to girls of about 9 yrs of age. They must have done the fun run.
Back to club house I go, Julie’s turn to use the Loo’s and then we need to remove warm layers find the bag drop and head off to the start line. Oh my goodness, Goose pimples everywhere. The sun may require me to wear sunglasses, but my temperature gauge is showing that a thin TRC vest is not very insulating. Brrrrr! Time to huddle at the start line in an effort to warm up.
The start line is in the lane by the entry to the field where we have parked our cars. The road looks flattish but don’t let that fool you, because it is in fact slightly uphill for the first 200m. Two cars have tried to drive along this lane and are now surrounded by runners and have no option but to turn engines off and hope that we don’t recreate a “Longleat safari” moment and run over the top and pull windscreen wipers off like the baboon’s do.
I’m about a 3rd of the way back from the start along with Stu, Wendy, and Rob. Rob announces that he’s hoping I will drag him along metaphorically speaking. It could actually be him having to do that for me today!
Some form of pre race briefing is apparently happening, but I only hear “ear pieces” and have to guess the rest. Someone around me passes wind which leaves a rancid smell in the air and then a sound like someone blowing a raspberry occurs. Oh that was the race starting, Garmin activated, legs moving. We are off.
It’s the usual tight squeeze through the slower runners who should have starter further back. I then realise Tabitha is behind me, so get the elbows out, force my way through and allow her to go ahead. She is faster, fitter and very much younger than me. She has the right go past!
Rob is with me, then goes ahead with a sudden spurt of energy, so maybe he will be dragging me around after all. I haven’t spotted “DG” from St Austell which is good, as I don’t think I have the energy or inclination to chase her after Cubert. There is no point fooling myself, I must just concentrate on getting around without disgracing myself.
Down hill we all run, past the pub, with lots of cheering from supporters and I’m not even tempted by the thought of a large glass of G & T and carry on knowing that “The hill” is about to hit us. We turn left and then right. Up we go. There are a couple girls already speed walking, but I’m not going to be one of them. Strangely it doesn’t feel too bad, the top is reached and I’m still able to breath, but conversation is not an option.
Now we are on the gently flat to undulating section where a view over beautiful farm land can be seen to our left, right and straight ahead. That is if you are able to look at anything other than your feet. I then catch the familiar sound of the “foot dragger”. It is a sound made by a runner who wears green. He probably doesn’t realise he even does it, and I have come across it as far away as Stratford upon Avon. It is also a noise that if I’m in the tetchy phase of the month, could make me want to shout “Pick your bloody feet up”. Thankfully I’m not, plus he is too nice to shout at, and I pass by calmly. Ah but hark, what can I hear now? It’s the serial throat clearer, who this season has been in or around my running space far too often for my liking. I never beat him, but if ever there was a reason to run faster or slower, this was one.
We’ve turned right into a windy narrow lane which makes for difficult decisions as to where one should run.
Should I go left? No that is near the hedge, the obvious place to discard the contents of his lungs.
Should I stay behind him? No the wind might be blowing in the wrong direction and I might get the sea spray effect.
So I opt for the right side, keep making little irritating coughing noises (something which is quite normal for me) hoping this will give them enough warning of my proximity.
Thank goodness, it worked.
Now we are going downhill. This downhill section seems to be longer than I remember. The legs are loving this, the pace has upped and I’m back alongside Rob. We drop down into a leafy valley and Rob starts to make observations as to it being like a rain forest, where woodpeckers and squirrels must cohabit. I think he is taking the p-ss? I have to fill the race reports out with something other than just numbers and names, and to get the facts right, I saw NO woodpeckers whatsoever. A few old birds and some spring chicks plus the odd Dinosaur, but definitely no Woodpeckers Rob.
Water station avoided along with the plastic cups strewn all over the floor. We start to climb uphill once again, and this hill also feels better than in previous years. We cross a road where marshals make sure we are nice and safe. Ahhhhhh I’ve spotted “DG” in the distance, cogs in brain start to grind. A nano second later I come to the conclusion that she is far too far ahead to even try to catch up especially as there is one more slope to climb before the finish line can be crossed.
I relax, enjoy the last downhill, climb the last slope, reach the top to see and hear Gordon telling me it’s only 400m to go. I see houses up ahead, then the gate to the football ground and the last 100m. All the fast TRC members have already collected their race memento’s and I hear some shouting on my right. I decide to sprint for the line….big mistake.
I feel sick. Stomach muscles are in spasm mode. Breath slowly, breath deeply, activate brain to tell stomach not to meet throat. I think touching my thumb with my fore finger and saying Omm maybe the next option, but the urge to throw up now passes. God that was close.
So Goodie bag, turns out to be what several men describe as a “nose bag”
It’s a Hessian duffle bag, which does look a tad like something you would fill with pony nuts and attach to the head of a horse. But inside there is a very nice turquoise towel thank you. Pasties as well for all.
Julie and I grab a hot drink and a recovery “Snickers Bar” for me. Pasty after stomach problems…no thank you.
We seem to be the only TRC runners left, so wait to the bitter end for the results to be announced.
Ladies first for once.
Well didn’t we do well girls? I came in second in the under 20 age cat…..no not really, I went up and collected Tabitha’s trophy.
Then I came 1st in the Under 35 cat….well I nearly got away with that one…but no that was Isobel’s prize.
Did I get anything in the old croc cat….. probably 4th.
But hey, us girls came in with the second team prize and I now have one nose bag full of trophies.
So very briefly as everyone else in my household has gone to bed and I’ve yet to email this to Steph:
- Would I do this race again……I’ll just say yes. The hills are now less steep. There are far more down hills than before and the sun always shine. I also tell lies, but actually, it doesn’t feel as bad as before, so I will be back next year if the legs, hips and knees allow.
- Race HQ….warm.
- Baggage drop….fine.
- Car park….plentiful and well organised.
- Showers….well I think there are some, but waited until I got home. No JFD to try them out either.
|1||BREWER, Tony||0:26:29||05:17.7||Mile High||Male Vet under 35|
|2||NASH, Dan||0:26:36||05:19.1||East Cornwall Harriers||Male Vet under 20|
|3||THOMAS, Justin||0:26:39||05:19.7||Cornwall AC||Male Vet 35-39|
|1||STEPTO, Emma||0:28:26||05:41.1||Cornwall AC||Female Vet 40-44|
|2||HEATHCOTE, Miranda||0:29:22||05:52.3||Newquay Road Runners||Female Vet 40-44|
|3||KHAN, Jane||0:29:41||05:56.1||Hayle Runners||Female under 35|
2nd Ladies Team Prize
|Position||Name||Time||Pace||Category||Position in Category|
|53||ADIE, Gordon||0:31:48||06:21.5||Male Vet 50-54|
|62||WYKES, Isobel||0:32:41||06:32.1||Female Vet 35-39||1|
|100||CHAPMAN, Wendy||0:34:29||06:53.7||Female Vet 35-39|
|112||HERBERT, Adam||0:35:22||07:04.2||Male Vet 40-44|
|113||MCLAUGHLIN, Danny||0:35:29||07:05.6||Male Vet under 35|
|126||FIGURES, Emma||0:35:52||07:10.2||Female under 35|
|156||MUSSON, Stuart||0:37:24||07:28.6||Male Vet under 35|
|157||ALLEN, Tabitha||0:37:27||07:29.2||Female under 20||2|
|169||RAMSEY, Chris||0:37:53||07:34.4||Male Vet 60-64|
|179||CARTER, Dee||0:38:35||07:42.8||Female Vet 35-39|
|193||KNUCKEY, Nigel||0:39:17||07:51.2||Male Vet 55-59|
|196||EAGLING, Nigel||0:39:27||07:53.2||Male Vet 60-64|
|206||CLITHEROW, Hana||0:40:29||08:05.6||Female Vet 50-54|
|222||POPE, Robert||0:41:34||08:18.6||Male Vet 50-54|
|230||LOCHRIN, Nicola||0:41:51||08:22.0||Male Vet under 35|
|288||JOHNS, Julie||0:44:37||08:55.2||Female Vet 50-54|
|292||KEY, Bethany||0:44:54||08:58.6||Female under 35|
|335||DEVEREUX, Jacky||0:48:48||09:45.4||Female Vet 55-59|
|348||BOARDMAN, Diane||0:50:08||10:01.4||Female under 35|
Don’t forget to look at the TRC Flickr Group for today’s photos 🙂 (If available)