A surprisingly low turnout for the race this morning, significantly fewer than ran the Jayson Lee 10k three weeks ago. A shame really as the day was bright and clear for this scenic run. It was nice to meet up beforehand with Keith Elkington – a youthful 75 – and his wife, now regular visitors to the Island from their native Lancashire. Runners gather in Gorey Village causing a little grinding of teeth as the local drivers find themselves held up for a few minutes. Dave Woodsford gives his customary pre-race instructions which are ignored, or indeed never heard by those of us further back; nevertheless the races seems to proceed smoothly enough.
If you like hills you like this course. After the gun you are immediately into the long climb out of the village, then a dip down Gorey Hill before the second climb of the day up to the Castle Green. I settle into a rhythm of my own as the leaders stretch out around the coast road. Past Geoffrey’s Leap, down into Anne Port Bay and the third hill climb of the day out again. The legend that is Barbara Parker gives us a clap from her bike as we go past Les Arches to Archirondel. Turning right at the crossroads there’s Sam O’Hare by the lifeboat station. The leaders stream by on their return run – Bruno Francisco has a clear lead and the lead lady is Claire Forbes, fresh from her 1500m victory at Footes Lane in the inter-insular yesterday. Then around the rock at St Catherine’s and we turn for home at half way.
Back in the spring I ran a PB on this course but I don’t feel quite so lively today – I sit in for the fourth mile rather than press on. However I sniff home as we dive into Anne Port Bay again and pass Dave Savory – I used to play darts with Dave over thirty years ago for the Bagot. Ahead of me are five possible targets as I make the final long climb up to the Castle Green, but they’re not coming back to me today. Around the hairpin, down to the harbour and into the final few hundred yards back to Longbeach. I think my only victim of the five might be a lady who senses me behind her but is also busy checking her watch. I get onto her shoulder and, as we swing into the car park I go by her and am rewarded with an anguished ‘Noooo!’ at which I ungallantly laugh. Through the finish in 49.36 which is OK.
A goody bag consisting of a sports drink and Mars Bar, wow thanks. But otherwise a very nice way to spend a morning.
Miles on the week – 20.4
Miles ytd – 1,057.4