Report from Hana
This event has become a permanent fixture in my race diary so 2013 wasn’t going to be any different from the last 3 years. It is an extremely friendly event which has the added bonus of starting and finishing at a public house, namely the “New Inn” where draught beer and other beverages are on tap and a BBQ in the beer garden at the rear. If you have young children there is no excuse for not entering, as part of the beer garden is for the children to play in.
The streets are lined with bunting, the local residents are out on the streets cheering everyone on (maybe assisted by a pre race hydration product or two) and they have a fun run beforehand that the children can run. So all in all, not a bad way to spend a Saturday evening.
Julie arrives at my house at 5pm and we set off along the A390 towards St Austell and beyond. The drive is as always, helped along by a good old chin wag because we haven’t seen each other since, Ummm…….Thursday. Anyway, the drive is uneventful but when we reach the periphery of Tywardreath we don’t see any signs directing us to where the parking is. Short detour, quick turn around and we are now heading up into the village and the grass field with a view across verdant countryside and dried organic fertilising matter on the ground. Thank goodness it hadn’t been raining all day, as the walk across the field might have been interesting?
The car park has masses of room with plenty space for all, so why is it that some people have to park so close that a can opener might be the only option to exit your vehicle. Julie and I decided to stand fast, give the driver of the car squeezed in next to ours, our best glare and then wait until they squeeze out of their car making sure they don’t bash their car door against ours. I don’t think the driver is impressed with us and we would suffer the odd glower over the course of the evening.
The race HQ is in a building used as a play group by day which is situated next to the Pub. Race numbers are being efficiently dished out by two lovely ladies sat behind the trestle table, so no need for the services of Alison or any other TRC member tonight for this onerous task. I’m not required to “demand money with menace” from any of our unpaid entries which is also good. I have a bad enough reputation without this one being added to the growing list as well. With that, JFD arrives, grabs me by the shorts……yes I said SHORTS, in attempt to give me a wedgey but he fails. The merits of running with or without knickers commences and I leave the outcome to your imagination. I will say though, that Bridget Jones and I do have one thing in common.
So off to find the toilets we go. We did use the toilets in the play group building last year, (see photo’s on last year’s blog) but they were so tiny, as in low to the ground, with a door any adult could look over, that we decided to go for the grown up option in the pub. Thankfully there was hardly any queue for the two cubicles but we were sharing them with patrons of the pub and small children who had completed the fun run. They weren’t the most modern of utilities but the floor was tiled, the toilets were clean and very soft quilted toilet roll was provided. There were windows that opened, which allowed the cubicle to fill with the aroma of Burgers and bacon, being cooked on the BBQ in the beer garden.
Outside we gathered for a team photo, which some official looking photographer agreed to take (Cornish Guardian web page and much better quality than the odd one we’ve had taken on an iPhone) There aren’t many of us TRC’ers and with only two ladies, Julie and I, there is no chance of a Ladies team prize, unless it is for adding a comedy factor to the event oh and Glamour…….not me, that’s Julie’s department.
I even have time for a quick pre race hug and snog with a regular fraterniser of mine from St Austell running club. Everyone is starting to gather at the starting area in Well Street, just outside the pub. It’s very intimate and I’m huddled about a quarter of the way back from the front of the runners which is about right really. Any further forward and I’d be crushed in the stampede of elite runners and any further back and I’d be tripping over people’s feet. A quick briefing takes place, where I hear the words,
“Low tunnel mind your head”
“River path mind the tree roots, and collapsed edges”
“Cyclist out front” , well I won’t see those.
“Prize for the fastest male and female over the first mile” well I won’t see those either.
The hooter sounds and we are away, downhill with a left turn into Trenant Road, a small housing estate before coming back out onto the hill we ran down, this time having to run back up it, to the pub, sadly not for a quick pint or G & T, but to turn left onto Church street. Here in Church Street you run on the narrow pavement tucked in between the parked cars and the terrace of houses. I can feel heat radiating off the walls of houses as I jog pass them but at least the ambient air temperature is no way as hot as last week’s slog at the Mag 7 in Saltash. In fact there is a slight breeze and the sun peeps in and out of the grey clouds, one of which looks as if it is holding a storm inside it.
Next we are directed down a path with a couple steps and the comforting words of “Mind your head”. We are at the tunnel that goes under the railway line and forms part of the “Saints Way” walk from Padstow to Fowey. I’m under this obstacle with my head still intact. We turn left again and this time we are on a narrow mud track that runs along a leat. It’s a water filled open drain come stream to those of you unfamiliar with the word LEAT. There are many tree roots, dips and lumps to skip over with the odd patch of squelch to try to avoid, but all around me plus myself remain upright and running at a steady pace.
We emerge out onto Tarmac then turn right onto Driving Lane. I’m sure at the top of this lane, I pass some local supporters who had place a nice little picnic table and chair set out with what looked like whisky and Ginger on it. I was very tempted to grab it and run, but I behaved and ran down the track in a wonderfully named area of “Porcupine”.
The track has the perfume of silage and cattle both of which when breathed in whilst outside are pleasant and reminds me why running in the countryside in the dry is so pleasurable. The route continues along lanes with hedgerows full of brambles, nettles and Honeysuckle. We traverse rough paths uphill and downhill, which is a challenge on the ankles and concentration. Keeping both feet off the ground is a good option but as humans cannot fly unassisted, I go for the option of making as little lasting contact with the ground as possible and as a result reach the bottom of all the downhill rough sections without injury. Even the dodgy right hip isn’t protesting.
I don’t want to look at my Garmin to see what my time is, I am convinced that due to the fact that I have chosen a “Damage limitation run” because of my hip problems, that I will be slower than previous years. I had also scanned for female V50 runners before the race, and knew that unless I took some serious performance enhancing drugs for about a month, there was no way I would be in with any chance of an age cat prize. I must just run for me and enjoy this race, which was exactly what I was doing.
The hills are plentiful, but only one reduces me to a short section of walking. The terrain is varied and interesting and the support along the way from locals and well placed marshals is excellent. I reach the top of the last hill, I can hear the crowds at the finish line cheering the finishing runners across the line, but I also know that the finish is further away that it sounds. Garmin tells me I have 1 mile to go. I dig in, pass a couple runners I have been following, knowing we will go downhill for a short section then have to run across uneven fields where overtaking is a problem due to compacted soil and plant stubble.
The last section of steep uneven steps arrive, no time to rush these and fall just take them steady girl. I step onto the tarmac, increase my speed and race for the finish line about 100m away. One male speeds pass me, but who cares, I cross the line with a PB for this race and a big smile. Oh how I love this event.
The Goodie bag was given to us before we ran the race and consisted of a very nice blue cotton T Shirt and a can of “Tribute Ale”. That’s two weeks on the trot that “Husband who plays golf” gets a race memento he enjoys and doesn’t even have to run to receive it.
The beer garden calls. All the TRC’er’s congregate there (apart from Gary who must have rushed away), beer burgers and a massage what more could anyone want? I opt for a cheese burger and I have to say I’m not a huge fan of burgers, but these were wonderful, followed by what can only be described as a bucket of hot tea. Bliss. The only thing missing was a shower, but that would have to wait until I got home.
Sadly there is only one prize winner from our Truro contingent and he wasn’t there to receive his SAUSAGES in person. I so dearly want to win this prize, as to return home with Beer and sausage’s, would be the pinnacle to my running life! I did suggest that we should freeze the winnings and then present them to him at the Club Christmas Dinner Dance, but I see from FB he received them the following day.
So, all in all:
- Will I run this race again? If my body allows, then yes every time.
- Toilets: Not bad at all, we even had the use of an outdoor Lavi at the Methodist church. I did test it out. Very rustic, plenty of bird droppings and distressed woodwork, plus the lock didn’t work. But on the plus side, there was no queue and it had toilet roll.
- Goodie bag: Cotton T Shirt in royal blue, Can of Beer and a Penguin biscuit.
- Marshals: Very good, but last year I did have a Snog with one of them, and this year that marshal ran the race, so there was no stopping on route this time.
- Parking: Plentiful, but would be interesting after heavy rain due to it being in a rough field. I could have quite happily had a picnic there and enjoyed the view across the fields and woodland.
- Marks out of 10. Well it would have to be 10 out 10 every year. The atmosphere is fabulous, and they raise over £2000 for local Charities during this event. I just wish they had more categories allowing me a chance of winning some sausage.
Don’t forget to look at the TRC Flickr Group for today’s photos 🙂 (if available)