Monday, 26 October 2009

Grrrr.. The GSR

Yay, we're home! After a gruelling motorway journey we're home safe and half sound after consuming far too much coffee and sugary things, including some rogue cup cakes that somehow smuggled themselves into my bag and then into our tummies around tea time. What a weekend it was. After eating enough food to feed the whole of Yorkshire and a day at a luxury spa it was a bit of a shock to be lining up on the start with the likes of Ndereba and Willis. Just a note about the amazing spa. The place was all rather luxurious and frothy, the highlight of the day being the splendid hydro pool. An erupting water world of jolting jets and terrific torrents massaged us from head to toe, complete with a freezing cold plunge pool to shock yourself awake at regular intervals. That place was heaven though I think we overdid it a bit. Every inch of my body feels as if its been pummelled...
Anyways, the race. What an experience. Arriving was a bit stressy with a two mile scramble dragging the Teasey clan across Portsmouth in a panicked search for the VIP quarters. We finally found where I was supposed to be with just a few mins before the race start and no warm up to speak of. The elite athletes were accommodated in the castle. Yes, it was all very grand with carpeted toilets (complete with no queues), draping curtain thingies on the ceiling and a spread of refreshments including some very nice muffins which I revisited after the race. A couple of familiar faces put me at ease, Sarah Gee (Reading) and Alan Buckley (Leeds AC) who both looked relaxed and in their element. I took some reassurance whilst trying not to stare at the super fit looking types who were stretching limbs at impossible angles and looking far too glamorous for racing.
Anyway, hope you get the picture. The race itself was very tough and perhaps more so with a frightening fast start. I'd left my Garmin behind with its flat battery and think for the first time really needed it if only to slow me down. The start was blistering given the high winds in the first 4 miles and with no gauge of effort I suffered badly and was ready to stop at 5m. The Team Teasey entourage planted at mile 6 was the only thing that pulled me through, (I'm sorry Nige but I think I let Yorkshire down). I somehow kept my legs turning over between miles 5 and 8 and then faced those soddin' winds for the final two miles. It was running hell. After being hopeful for a PB my aspirations sunk to just getting over the finish line. My time was well down and a bit disappointing. After a bit of reflection I was glad I finished and didn't come last at all. I was 16th out of the 28 elites. Not bad really given the hell I felt from 5 miles. That's possibly the toughest race I've ever run. I'd run it all so differently next time ... race results here.
P.s. I feel the need to note a formal apology to John, father of M. After repeatedly insulting him about his age by offering to carry things and clumsily suggesting he might be too old to run alone (God forbid!) I then added insult to injury by mistakenly mocking his ethnic origins. I promise it wasn't aimed at you, I was just trying to mimic the TomTom lady. I like her Irish accent. I swear.


Phil said...

It was great to see you on telly, RB. Great achievement just being there, never mind 16th! Very well done.

kate said...

maybe you need less pampering next time ;)
16th in such a high class race is nothing to be ashamed of. all valuable experience, and when it got tough, you kept going. a great result :)

Julbags said...

I caught some of it on TV, you looked pretty relaxed at the start to me - would never guess things were a little fraught before hand.

The wind looked awful, well done for keeping going.

Anonymous said...

Feeling disappointed at finishing just over the hour mark on a course blasted by the wind and less than five minutes behind an athlete of the class of Catherine Ndereba says a lot about how far you've come in a relatively short period. I'm sure the best is yet to come! Well done, Nige

Runningbear said...

Phil - thanks, was quite exciting to be on the telly but reckon all that excitement cost me a sensible run! Thanks for your support & hope to see you at some local races soon!

Kate - thanks & I agree. I reckon pampering is bad for mean racing machines. Ugly toes and rough skin are the way to go ;)

Julbags - I did feel chilled (in both senses) all things considered - perhaps that was the problem. Thanks for the encouragement.

Nige - Thanks for your kind words. You've made me feel a bit better. If anything its a good reminder of how amazing these proper elites are. They were a real inspiration.

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