Bideford Half Marathon 1 March 2009

I apologise in advance for the length of this report but I had to get everything in.

Mike RobinsonAn early start from my house saw Mark, Jer, Paul H and myself take the 100 odd mile trip up to Bideford. Jer turns up Evel Kneivel style on his bike, probably waking all the neighbours ‘cause his exhaust needs looking at’!! Not to worry tho’ as a call at 7am (the time we had said we would leave) from Mark saying he was on his way, but running a little late – nothing new there! Mark zooms up the road and in his usual quiet voice greets us with the usual ‘Good morning my man and how are you today?’ ‘Tickety boo’ we reply – was he asking me or Mr Cox in no1? (I live at 13!!) Mark pulls from his boot what can only be described as a suitcase (what the hell has he got in there?!?!? – we would find out) Jer makes a dash for the front seat, Mark jumps into the back and down to the station to pick up Paul, we check we all have our numbers and timing chips, turn on the satnav and up she pipes with an ETA of 9am. We are on our way at last.

An uneventful trip up to Launceston and we turn off for Bideford, arriving at dead on 9am (how did Mrs Satnav know that?, clever bitch, certainly more accurate than Mrs M – and doesn’t argue back – bonus!)

We park up right next to Bideford AC clubhouse, 80p an hour for the carpark, so we get 5 hours, we got to get away by 2pm – surely we can do that!
ian-matthews-2We walk up and down, get a cup of coffee etc, meet other runners from Cornish clubs (note – MBH will NOT be getting a bloody flag!!! What is it with flags – that poor lady from Launceston RR having to lug that around all day – I suppose it was a bonus we didn’t see Newquay, St. Austell or Hayle flags as well!!) We were all going for sub 1.30 – would today be the day, would Bideford be the race? I was feeling quite good and confident, bad sign perhaps – I needed to average about 6.50 miling to be in with a shout.

We should have read our race information as the race didn’t start till 10.30 (we thought it was 10!!) We see Tim arrive and then bump into Jess and Mike,with Sam from HRR (also looking for a PB) Mark decides he needs to check out the turdis and takes my latest copy of 220 to read!!! How long does it take??!! I hope he’s not thinking of using it as toilet paper as those glossy pages won’t do him any good – might even get a paper cut. (ooh that would hurt)
mark-omori-2It’s time to get ready – Paul, who is wearing his kit under his normal clothes, I jump into the front seat, Jer strips off beside the car and broadcasts he’s not cut his toe nails! (glad I’m not sleeping with you!) and Mark……………Mark gets out his suitcase and heads for the back seat, what has he got in there?!?! – 10 minutes later we’re out – little bit of vas, bit of voltarol perhaps? Where’s Mark? Don’t worry he’s only in the back of my car, virtually bollock naked, foot up, applying fake skin to his feet, special plasters, nipple cream, body washing in ibuprofen, pill popping, energy drink consuming (one looked like a test tube?!?! What the hell was that?)
We had arranged to meet Tim, Mike and Jess by my car for a photograph – after we had warmed up – Mark was still applying creams, ointments and consuming strange concoctions and now he’d started on the energy bars!

Jer, Paul and myself decided to go off and leave Mark to it – me busting for a wee. The queue at the toilets was huge, I tried to quickly go behind a hedge in the park but there were too many people to relax fully so decided to cut it short.(MISTAKE)
ian-raggett-210.20 and everyone is summoned to the start line. We bump into Ian R and his girlfriend (Jers cousin), Donna (heavy with child – if she was running she’d have probably showed us all how to do it (she did 1.24 here last year, when you’re back you’re gonna have to join us at MBH!!).
Close to the start line, just behind the timing mats I bumped into Sharon Daw and Dave Pell, we chat about tri for a bit and then we’re off and yes you guessed it I’m breaking my neck for a wee.

Tim and Mike shoot off at lightning speed along with the other fast boys, around the park and past the finish- 1 mile bleeps on the Garmin – ¼ mile later the one mile marker appears, a rumble goes round saying that can’t be right as we’re doing 9 minute miling, feels faster than that to me (later discovered I did the first mile in 6.35) it’s warm!! sun is shining ad it’s decidedly spring like! yoohoo at last, but it was warm and sweaty.

Mark shoots off into the distance, not to worry, he’s got it wrong again I say to myself, I’ll catch him later, Sharon and I run together for about 5 miles, there are hills!! So it’s not flat as they said! Not as hilly as Truro but they are definitely hills, I gradually manage to pull away from the group I was with, I can see Mark and Dave Pell about 200 yards in front, no sign of Jer at mile 6 I had closed the gap to about 50 yards – the guy in front stops, right in front of me, in the middle of the road, whips it out and let’s go – that was it!!! My bladder was exploding, so at 6.7 mile, a field gateway and I just had to go (I know this cause the garmin shows the drop in pace (I did stand still!) –I was 30 seconds ahead of 1.30 schedule until my pee stop) – so how long does it take to empty a male bladder? Again my garmin gave me the answer – about 53 seconds! And it’s true, no matter how many times you shake your peg there’s always a drip rolls down your leg! (sorry, too much detail, I know) Still I’m used to that sort of thing – did I ever tell you about one year at Newquay triathlon – you don’t wanna know. I saw Sharon and Jer pass me along with about 30 other people!! Oh shit!

jess-turton-2The hills were over and we reached the turn around point – a flat, tarmac old railway line – got down a gel at about 8 mile and felt back on track, managing 6.39 and a 6.45 miles for 9 and 10 –And was now a little behind pace, Pressed on and managed to catch quite a few and I could see Jer and Sharon about 50 yards in front at mile 10. Managed to catch Dave Pell, who looked still to suffering from injury – where was Mark?! Surely he couldn’t have sustained his pace, 11 a bit slower, 6.58 – I was flagging!! Actually I was hanging out my ass, if I’m honest, 1.30 was slipping away fast. The last mile and a half is bloody mind and soul destroying – you can see the finish – but the course takes you past a railway station (thank you to that little tyke who was repeatedly shouting ‘YOU’RE NOT GOING MAKE IT, YOU LOOK CRAP’ – if I could have stopped I have rung his little scrawny neck!) you then double back on yourself and you can see who’s chasing you – Jer waves and shoots off- was this the kick up the bum he needed – I wasn’t that far behind him, I knew that I wasn’t going to catch him – with mile 12 coming in at 7.20 I had 4 minutes to do the last mile – Roger Banister I definitely aint!

We run all the way down the quay and cross the finishing timing mat – 1.33.35 – never mind! Mark is gleaming, he reckoned about 1.32, I shake his hand and see Jer, about 1.32.30 – distance on everyones Garmin tho’ is 13.51 miles? Tim knocks a fantastic 9 minutes off his PB, finishing 9th and in a time of about 1.16 – Mike R finishes in 27th 1.22, Jess 1.42, Paul H 1.43, Ian R (running under Nigels number) 1.48
paul-hooper-2We collect our rather nice Brooks technical top, and move on back to the car – waiting on my mobile is a text with my gun time, chip time and position – HOW GOOD IS THAT??!!!

Mark decides he needs to walk off with the 220 magazine again and returns 15 minutes later – with rubs / grazes on the inside of his calf muscles?? The mind boggles – he says he rubbed them whilst running – we all tried to replicate the motion he must have used and looked quite comical ‘running’ up the car park. Yvonne would have been proud of me as once again I managed to lose my pants!! And I didn’t have my emergency pair with me. We jump in the car, and I mean jump!! Jer and Paul fly right into the back seat – leaving Mark in the front with me – totally 80’s on the radio and off we set home. We decide to stop at Holsworthy at the ? Hotel and scoff down a very nice carvery – excellent value at £5.95. Mark once again taking 45 minutes to eat as he chews each mouthful 25 times, nothing of course to do with the amount he talks!

Mrs Satnav tells us we will be home at 4.30 and true to her word we are exactly on time. A great day, enjoyable race and good company.
So………….back to the drawing board for me, trying to work out what went wrong (at this moment a bottle of red is making things fuzzy!) before next Sunday – The Duchy 20 for me – according to a well used race calculator, going on todays time I should do it in about 2.28, lets see how close we can get.

So back to Bideford…………would I do it again? I didn’t get to feel ‘much atmosphere’ (unlike Plymouth) and the marshal mistake at the beginning, adding the ¼ mile is a bit naff considering this is the 15th time the event has been run!

But Yeh I think I would, nice T shirt and now I know the course it may be different.

Race No Firstname Lastname Category Cat Pos Gun Time Gun Pos Chip Time Chip Pos Club
640 Tim Drew M20-39 7 01:16:37 9 01:16:36 9 Mounts Bay Harriers
664 Michael Robinson M20-39 12 01:22:06 27 01:22:03 27 Mounts Bay Harriers
747 Mark Omori M45-49 16 01:32:00 120 01:31:53 124 Mounts Bay Harriers
712 Jeremy Marston M20-39 65 01:32:57 138 01:32:50 143 Mounts Bay Harriers
710 Ian Matthews M40-44 34 01:33:35 149 01:33:27 152 Mounts Bay Harriers
599 Jessica Turton F20-34 13 01:42:32 280 01:42:14 288 Mounts Bay Harriers
711 Paul Hooper M45-49 43 01:43:49 306 01:43:25 313 Mounts Bay Harriers
800 Ian Raggett M45-49 59 01:49:04 427 01:48:43 433 Mounts Bay Harriers


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.