I have run this race for the last three years and so I am already the proud owner of a selection of hoody’s in shades of blue and grey. So one of the main questions everyone has been asking, is what colour will the Marazion 10K race memento be in this year?
I had been looking forward to this race, but my pre race preparation was brought to a standstill by chronic tooth ache. Child birth would have been more preferable to the pain that one bl—dy tooth inflicted on me for several days. Sleep was not an option and if I had been a horse, I would have been put down. So the tooth has been plugged for now with either extraction or root canal treatment on the cards. Then when the pain finally subsided I was then left with a sinus infection. Menopausal woman is close to the edge! Mentally and financially once the Dentist has done his deed.
Anyway, Sunday morning arrives, I text Julie to confirm that I will be going to the race and we arrange to meet at Scorrier. As this race has a later start (11am) I can once again indulge in Tea and Toast for breakfast, before saying good bye to “Son in the Forces” who is heading back to base today. (He’s just come back from a 4 month posting in Las Vegas, a great destination if you like mountain biking and he does).
Julie and I arrive at Marazion nice and early only to find a heavy hail and rain cloud right above us, so a brief sojourn in her nice warm car was required whilst this cloud then threw its contents all over Marazion seafront. Once it passed we both decided to skip the free mini bus shuttle to the race HQ and walk up to the top of Marazion (about a mile) which we could use as a pre race warm up. The air temperature was a tad nippy but the sun was starting to come out.
The race HQ is in the Community Centre next to the football club, where there is a reasonably large hall for all the race competitors to gather out of the cold and wet and collect their race numbers. I was expecting Julie and myself to be one of the first to arrive, but no, there was already a large contingent of both girls and boys already sat in a TRC huddle looking slightly dazed or apprehensive. Surely I don’t personally have this effect on people……..or do I? (NO comments please Steph! [Spoilsport Hana!!!]) Andrew was also in residence sat in his allocated TRC team chair at the side of the hall handing out our race numbers. Sadly in the glamour stakes he is no competition for Alison. [Am I allowed to make a comment here Hana?! Best not!]
Now, I have to say that the race number (the rip proof square piece of waterproof paper that we pin onto our running vests) was a rather snazzy little number this year. It had a deep blue background which turned out, when studied with my glasses off, to be a coastal view of Marazion I believe. Oh and an advert for a local fish and chip establishment. Now this is all well and good and slightly different than the run of the mill white ones we have normally, but the most important part of any race number is the visibility of the number. I have to say that in this instance, I could foresee a few problems for the marshals having to jot down the runners numbers as they crossed the line. Time would tell.
So I attach one race number to my TRC vest ( I’m a four pin girl) and Julie announces that as there are no queues for the loos it may be best to go off and utilise the facilities provided.
So, firstly we have some toilets in the community centre to try out. We have a choice of 4 cubicles in a fairly spacious but not luxurious room. The floor has burnt-come-brick red tiles and no carpet (very sensible with all the runners’ shoes that will pass through here today) and once inside the cubicle we have pretty pink wall tiles with an apple/cherry blossom design to feast our eyes upon. I must add though, that the cleaners could do with giving them a bit of a wipe as some of the biodegradable matter left on them is questionable as to its origin. On a plus point, there was plenty of loo roll and of course no queue if visited early.
Outside there were two green plastic portable toilet cubicles of which I could not see the manufacturers label, so I will not name. I was going to take a photograph of them, but felt I might end up being arrested as some sort of deviant. So instead I visited the additional toilets on offer in the football club next door.
These were not the most salubrious of vestibules. The club had an air of being about to be refurbished – or was the laying out of odd bits of Formica worktop all along the corridor a ploy to cover up how poor the facilities were? I would describe the two cubicles on offer to the girls as basic, with sanitary wear that was in need of replacement as the flushing mechanism was the old fashion chain type and it took two or three goes before you were able to get the water flowing at the optimum speed to clear the pan, so to speak. Anyway, there was toilet roll and I’ve seen worse.
Once back inside the race HQ I decide to take a few informal photos whilst we had so many TRC runners at an event. Someone then decides perhaps I should be in one, so I pose, go to put my hand behind my back and end up grabbing DM’s nether regions and the photo says it all! DM did tell me it was in fact his car keys [I’m not sure I believe that Hana: I’ve seen the S&M photo!!!]
So back to the race, “Time to warm up” says Julie. Now I’m not a great fan of expending too much energy immediately before a race as I feel I need every ounce of energy in the race itself. It may well loosen the legs and stretch the muscles a tad, but a gentle stroll to the start line usually suffices, but today I reluctantly join Julie and Lynne and jog down the road and back. Time to walk to the start line I decide.
The race HQ is where the race ends but the start line is a 2 minute walk away and each year I fail to remember where I am supposed to be going, so it’s a good job that others shepherd me in the right direction. Today it’s the job of Tony B to keep me in order. At the starting area which is in a fairly narrow lane in an area called Trevenner, there are some marshals holding banners stating things like “SUB 40” “SUB 50” etc….. One bright spark asks the question “Is that relating to your age or race time?” I opt for something a little younger than myself and go for the sub 50 congregation.
As always, the road fills with runners and then a car wants to drive through. Runners squeeze to the sides and heckle the occupants of the cars and the cars just about get through with their wing mirrors intact. For the occupants of the cars, it is probably a bit like passing through a 1970’s picket line. For you youngsters reading, this isn’t the name of prehistoric Folk group, it’s something your grandparents will be able to explain to you..
So the pre race briefing takes place, with the race director stood on the top of the hedge with no tannoy to use. It’s a KEEP LEFT course he announces, so if you go right you’ve gone the wrong way. The road surface is very muddy and the puddles large. One drinks station and headphones are a disqualifiable adornment. BANG and we are off. Off downhill at a steady pace but trying hard not to trip over the feet of others ahead. My weaving technique is not working today, so it takes a while to get ahead of some slower paced runners. I’ve made the decision to just run the race and see what happens and hope I can make it to the finish line, even if I have to walk. I’ve pulled my “IQ Reducer” down hard over my face, study my feet and remind myself that I mustn’t look over my shoulder or check my time on my Garmin. I must look like a miserable b-gg-r or a sad old dear, but who cares as I’m both!
So with a nice downhill section to start, my legs fall into their own rhythm and we all pass under the A394 before running along a flat section passing “Hush Puppy Cottage” at the start of Plain-an-Gwarry. Then it’s a nice long grind uphill, passing fields of cabbages with their flagrant aroma heightened by the damp weather. A little further on, I pass a rather stiff looking rabbit in the prone position. All I need now is some red wine and some potatoes and I would have had the ingredients for this evening’s dinner.
People I have overtaken on the downhill section now start to overtake me on this uphill but it isn’t long until we turn LEFT by a small pine wooded area and the road flattens out into a gently undulating section. I’m actually feeling really quite good. I’m relaxed, not in the least bit worried about my finishing time and I’m running freely if that makes sense. At Penberthy Cross we turn LEFT and continue on our undulating course. I pass one Newquay female who last season I was unable to beat, but today I float past and wonder if all the paracetamol [don’t panic, not a brand name!] tablets I have consumed during the last week are enhancing my running. Will they drug test me later? (I find out after the race has finished that this lady is in fact running with an injury).
It isn’t long until we turn LEFT again and this section of lane is part of the national cycle route that takes you onto Penzance which I have cycled numerous times. They are leafy and pretty passing through Rosevidney where I actually overtake Steve M of TRC which comes as quite a shock. I know this won’t last long but I bask in the glory of it for a while then I overtake Chris R. what is happening to me? Is this just a dream from which I will awake in a start, soaked in yet one more of my Menopausal moments? No it’s real, as before long the last quarter of a mile approaches, all uphill and Steve glides by. Sh-t! Then I remind myself I’m not racing, just running.
I say not racing and I hadn’t been for 6 miles, but as the last 50 meters arrive I can hear someone behind coaxing another runner to catch up and overtake a runner ahead. My head is telling me it’s me they are after and I’m not having any of this last minute beating me at the line. I drop from 4th gear to 3rd and sprint in a geriatric sort of way across the line, before bending over in vomiting mode. I feel sick. The stomach spasms are forming like the tidal surges we have been having of late but I will not disgrace myself. Lots of deep breathing and studying of my feet, only to hear someone to my side ask “are you Ok Hana?” all I can muster is “NO”
It isn’t long until I’m back into grumpy old woman mode and mingling with the crowd.
Time for more photo’s which I am hoping to be able to put on the club Facebook page but windows 8 has me truly flummoxed and I have no teenagers to assist [Senior moment Hana? Reminder: you no longer have any teenagers :D] [NB The Old Croc coped admirably: plenty more photos on FB!]
It’s time for Julie and me to recover with a large flask of coffee and a homemade flapjack. Must remember to chew carefully though, as I can’t afford to lose any more teeth or else it will be pureed food only for the old croc. Grrrrr
Raffle tickets already purchased and I seem to have acquired rob’s and Dave P’s as well. One tells me he would like red wine if he wins (he’ll have to arm wrestle me first) the other states food items no alcohol. Neither win but I get a Jelly bean bowl and bean selection which happens to catch the eye of a certain TRC (young) supporter who had been so well behaved, and has much stronger teeth than mine, so I gave her the Jelly beans. Sorry mum!
The presentations took an age to arrive. There had been a few glitches along the way……could that be due to the funky race numbers we were wearing?
Wendy won a 3rd place age cat prize, as did I and both Pete Sowerby and Tony Berry came 1st in their age cats.
I would also like to add that Mrs Sowerby was allowed to run this race as well and looked radiant as she crossed the line!
Team Truro Ladies of which I was the only one present scooped the ladies 3rd place prize and I was presented with six bottles of wine.
I took mine straight home and consumed it that night with dinner. Thank goodness I did, as apparently a mistake was made, with one of TRC’s male runners being included in the list of ladies, so we were demoted to 6th team. Too late if they want my wine back, but if they want to drug test me, perhaps we can do it at the same time?
So all in all:
- Car parking. Free and plentiful with the added value factor of a free shuttle bus to the race HQ if required.
- The course is scenic and undulating but sadly with one serious accident this year. I believe an out of control horse and rider trampled one of the female runners. So fingers crossed she is OK now. Races in the Penzance area and Horses don’t seem to go well together
- The sun shone all the way round and not one drop of rain fell out of the sky. Well done Hayle runners for managing that.
- The Marshalls were all friendly and you had no chance of getting lost.
- The Water station was working well when I ran passed it.
- The Race Memento was a very nice bright green hoody; several of us females have requested RED ones next year (just in case you are reading this Hayle runners)
- The toilets as described in this report were plentiful and adequate but I was dutifully informed that the males stank to high heaven. Well that’s because the male species is made out of slugs and snails and puppy dog tails unlike us fragrant rose petals.
10 out of 10 Hayle!