Trevornick 10, a race that doesn’t include the words “Half Marathon” in its title. That’s a novelty for me this year, but you should never be fooled into thinking that as a race is 3 miles less in distance than a Half marathon, that it will be easier to complete.
I awake to find a grey and miserable morning but it isn’t raining which is an improvement on last weekend’s weather in Wiltshire. I consume my porridge and strawberries and as the race doesn’t start until 10:30am and it is only a 30 minute drive away, I do some pre race warm up routines cleaning the bathroom and dusting the house.
“Sydney Skoda” and I have a pleasant journey along the A3075, a road that on a quiet day is a great one to drive, with just enough bends to make it interesting and enough straight-ish sections to motor on. Of course, at no time did “Sydney Skoda” ever exceed the speed limit not even in “the big dipper section” at Rejerrah, but a car coming in the opposite direction was trying out the “death wish” setting in their vehicle. Thankfully this time it failed and they managed to squeeze in just in time, so that they didn’t crash into the oncoming vehicles!
The Race HQ and Parking is at the Holywell Bay Holiday Park which is situated between Cubert and Holywell Bay itself. This is an immaculately kept holiday park where there is plentiful free parking on a grassed area kept in better condition than most people’s lawns. From here it’s a short walk through the amusement area to the sites club house and a large bar area being used as usual for the runners to gather, register and collect their race numbers. Today I am race No 19, I must have been eager to enter this race!
I glance around the room and spy “Our Diane” in the far corner, so I make my way over to what will become the TRC table. It’s usually a huge crush in this room and tables are of a premium, but today race numbers appear to be lighter than normal, so no pushing or shoving is required. It isn’t long before we are joined by Helen and Julie and the “what shoes/clothes should we wear” topic becomes the main source of conversation. “Our Diane” produces a vast selection out of her cavernous bag (I hope “8 pin Colin” isn’t reading this report, as if this is a reflection of a possible shoe fetish “our Diane” has, he may need to add an extension to their house very soon). I’ve only brought one pair with me, a pair of off road shoes, but I will confess to you all, that like “Our Diane” I have a shoe addiction, and my garage is full of various sporting footwear some of which I have had to sneak in under the cover of darkness. “Husband who plays Golf” on the other hand, likes to have just one pair and carry on using them even after holes appear and tape has come into play to hold parts of them together (squash shoes in particular).
Time to check out the toilets on the ground floor level of the building we are in. Just below the Bar/clubhouse there are both gents and ladies toilets with no queues at all. The cubicles are clean and the floor is stone tiled which makes for easy cleaning but with slightly studded trail shoes upon my feet and some water on these tiles I nearly go “A over T” and just manage to regain my balance before disaster strikes. Phew!
TRC runners have increased in numbers and the men appear to have surplus numbers to make up a fine team with none of their names likely to cause confusion in the sexuality stakes (Pip was First lady at the Saltash Half Marathon). We the ladies also have a good turn out so only time will tell who comes home with any prizes. I grab a few random photos and Paul, I am so sorry but your photo has made me titter every time I have looked at it (see photo’s on TRC Facebook page).
I consume a segment of my race staple, “Kendal Mint Cake” which serves two purposes, one being a sugar rush the other as a breath freshener, as you just never know when you might have to have a quick pre race snog. Julie and I then decide to check out some other toilets that she knows about and I don’t. All I am going to say is that they were very clean; Queue free and in a location I am not prepared to disclose. Having said that I also found some more after the race in the shower block and they too were spotless. So Girls, there is no need to queue for the loo at this event.
On the drive over to Holywell a heavy mizzle had kept the windscreen wipers occupied. I then realised that I had not packed my “Boil in the bag” slightly water repellent top or my gloves. As there was no sun making an appearance in the sky, it felt cold plus the wind had picked up. How was I going to cope in just shorts, short sleeved T with TRC race vest over the top? Any males reading will say “Run faster”.
The starting area was in its usual place, on a grassed area between the race HQ and the Fun Park/Amusement area. An official looking photographer was snapping team photos and somehow a certain male who answers to “Fergie” was seen posing in a rival teams group shot. Some of TRC’s Girls also had their photo taken, obviously the males were just too rough and ready to have theirs taken as well!!!!
I have no idea what was said in the race briefing because everyone was more interested in chatting and having a laugh. Having run this race several times, I’m sure the briefing included the usual advice come warnings but with the extra one specific for this race of “please be mindful of the many rabbit holes on the course”. A remote controlled drone type helicopter thingy with camera attached buzzed above the start line and we were asked to wave at it, so we all did.
3,2,1 or was it 1,2,3 and we were off, a tad too fast for me as the race starts off across grass on a slight downhill where my feet and the ground seem to repel each other. It was a bit like being on a bouncy castle but once the ground levelled out then started going uphill my equilibrium was regained. My lungs on the other hand were having huge issues.
I don’t have asthma unlike my sister, but my lungs have always seemed congested and morning sporting activities causes whatever sits dormant in them overnight to start rattling about and my lung capacity is halved. I’m the runner that has the irritating cough that lasts for about 3 miles or in some cases the whole race and today my lungs were struggling. I had set off far too fast and my brain wasn’t allowing me to slow, each step was making me cough and my lungs not inflate.
We were directed around the Camp sites lush green fields where they had mown wide paths for us to follow. There were some lovely youngsters Marshalling at the sections where yellow tape hadn’t reached the marker poles and before long we were onto the concrete track that leads out onto Cubert Common and the Kelseys an area where the Cowslips were in full bloom and the rabbit holes abound.
From here on it is hard to describe an accurate route of the race and even when I look at my Garmin upload on the computer the red lines on the map go all over the place crisscrossing paths we had already run along.
The route winds downwards at first and this allows my lungs to recover a bit from running across the fields, but what goes down always comes back up again. I’m actually glad that I’m wearing shorts and T-shirt as I am boiling; in fact my face feels like a pressure cooker about to blow a gasket. I have nothing that I can loosen to release any steam as everything I’m wearing is loose. If I had had a hat on at least I could have taken it off, but I haven’t. Thank god I hadn’t brought my boil in the bag Jacket after all, as otherwise I would have been doing just that…….the “old bag” would have been boiling. Maybe it’s my body detoxing; I must be sweating away all my impurities along with the odd bottle of Shiraz or Merlot and maybe a sin or two.
I generally run with my mouth open, a bit like the Tour de France cyclists or a basking shark, and today with the wind that is buffeting me, my cheeks feel like they are flapping. This isn’t me pulling G due to running at a supersonic pace; no it’s just me doing a good impression of an old Blood Hound following a trail. Time for a face lift I think, as the hair band pulling the hair back off my face isn’t tightening the skin anymore.
I’m glad I wasn’t fast enough to be one of the lead runners though, as in a couple of places we were running along paths that had not been well trodden by humans or sheep, so the grass was lush, the nettles out to sting you and ankle snatching brambles trying to snag your socks or legs. The lead runners had flattened the plant life a little but still the brambles snatched but the injuries were minor and didn’t involve the rescue group coming out to attend to me. Mind you the male out runner for the Cornwall rescue group who sprinted over the horizon to the rescue of one of the Hayle Ladies in distress could have rescued me any day……..sorry I digress once again, it’s an age thing.
The running was tough. The paths were mostly hard with only a couple sections being soft but not squelchy under foot. We had several steep slopes to contend with, which I confess to having walked up, along with many other runners. Sometimes this was because those ahead were walking and overtaking was not easy, well that’s my version anyway. A couple of male runners voiced words of encouragement to me, but thermostat and lung malfunction wasn’t encouraging me to try harder……sounds just like a school report doesn’t it? “Hana really should try harder” I can even see my PE teacher Mrs Basset making me do hand springs over the vaulting horse when I was about 14 when I was scared to do them because she thought I should try harder. Don’t worry I won’t be demonstrating this skill any time soon, it was a short lived, of no real use in the real world skill and any adrenalin rush was brought about by my fear of breaking my neck.
The route did drop down to the beach at Porth Joke with a very short section of sandy track leading to the car park next to Treago Mill, but other than that there is no beach running at all.
I am so sorry I am so vague as to whether the route turned left or right or up or down, but when you are keeping your head down looking for trip hazards and giving yourself a mental pep talk that it is really only 10 miles of running, it was like a version of “who pinned the tail on the donkey” and I lost all sense of my direction. You do run along the cliffs with views out over the sea but the route always takes you back across the Kelseys to Cubert common and the final push over the concrete track and into the grounds of the Holiday Park.
The final Mile is always the worst for me as although I tell myself I am only there to complete the race and not compete, I start to wonder who is close on my heels and whether they will sprint pass me to the finishing line? I decide to not look over my shoulder and just give this section a harder push. Someone calls out my name and encourages me onward so I sprint towards the line trying to smile but failing. I cross the line, stop my Garmin and realise that even though I have walked at least 3 hills I have actually run my fastest Trevornick 10, knocking 2 mins off my previous best result. If Mrs Basset (my PE teacher at Looe Secondary Modern) was there she would have reminded me that I should have tried harder.
I can’t talk, I’m shattered. I’m handed a bottle of water, a banana and my goodie bag, then I head for the showers, as Holywell Holiday Park have the best showers ever. Individual cubicles with an area to hang your clothes upon, a seat to place items on to keep them off the damp floor and then the wet area with a powerful hot shower. And best of all, they are immaculately clean. Top marks all round, especially when after a long hot shower I emerge a refreshed and almost new woman.
Julie and I are armed with our flasks of steaming hot coffee and take our seats in the club house to await the presentations. I note that the younger faster TRC males are loitering at another table (obviously we the “Old Crocs” are not cool enough to hang out with). Seeing as these males don’t usually hang around after a race, they must know that a prize is heading their way and sure enough it does. In fact several win individual prizes along with a team prize. Sadly no team prizes for the Ladies this time round but 4 individual ones come our way with Both Julie and me taking home some wine in our respective “Saga” categories. “Husband who plays golf” will be pleased. Needless to say that since the 10th May there has been much gloating by the TRC boys so girls it’s time to pull our socks up and show them what we’re made of!!!!!
So all in all:
Parking. Free, plentiful and close to the race HQ.
- HQ. Excellent providing all you could possibly want with plenty of space for all if the weather is inclement.
- Toilets. Clean, standard fit with more than enough Toilet roll to go round. No queues and if there were, there are other toilets dotted around the holiday park area.
- Showers. Amazing. Individual cubicles that were clean, tidy and with lots of hot water emerging from well powered shower heRaceads. Fabulous
- Goodie bag. A black bag containing a great winter running hat, an energy gel and a diary to log your training runs in.
This is a 10 out of 10 race and I will be back to try harder next time…….maybe?