Magnificent 7 – Sunday July 20th 2008

It’s a long way to have to travel to do a race, and what a b***ard!

A 70 mile drive, then 7 miles of hell! Well no, not strictly speaking. It’s actually about 3 miles of hell. The first 4 miles you deal with in your own way. Then you’ve got to hang on in there. Why in God’s name to they have a 1 in 4 hill just before the last mile? It’s an absolute killer.

Only 10 MBH turned up, but that’s to be expected. Unless you’re up for grabbing G.P. points like Nigel S and myself, I can’t see the fun of this one. It’s OK for the experience I suppose. The weather was beautiful, though a bit of a head wind finish made you work just that bit harder. As usual I was confronted with all my usual rivals in my age group (55+) – Alan Cooper (Truro), Malcolm Roberts (St Austell) and Bob Richards (Hayle). We must have swapped places a dozen times over the first few miles. I seemed to be clear of them, though I knew the last 2 miles were going to be tough. Oh yes!

I seemed to be running alongside Paul Chesterfield of Cornwall AC most of the time, an old running mate of mine from years gone by when we were both in Carn Runners. Paul will always stick in my memory as the one who drove my vehicle back home to my place in Penzance from Gwithian whilst I went in the opposite direction via ambulance to Treliske, having tripped over on the sand dunes and speared my hand with a rusty second world war spikey thing sticking out of the sand!!! But I digress.

So 2 miles left and I knew i’d got this bloody 1:4 to get up yet. And here it was, right in front of me. It’s ridiculous. How can they do it at this stage of a race. I’m sure if I skipped, turned around and hopped on one leg backwards I would have been faster than I was running it. Anyway, get past that one and you think you can relax. Hahaha. Not a chance. There are still a couple of more inclines just to remind you not to get complacent. By 6.5 miles to be quite honest i’d forgotten about my rivals due to the impact of the 1:4 but having now recovered-ish for the half mile run in, I was concerned that I had lost touch with Paul Chesterfield and so, did that mean I was being overhauled? Yes indeed, I was. I thought by Alan Cooper (Truro) at a quick glance but in fact it was Malcolm Roberts (St Austell). Phew, I thought briefly. Though Malcolm was in my age group on the day, he was running for GP Points in the 50+ age group, so not really important. Not really important! Everyone’s important in the run in – I don’t care if it’s a 10 year old girl or a 70 year old man, i’ve just got to beat them!

So, my competitive spirit got the better of me and now with just 200m left I had stuck in a couple of bursts to try and demoralise Malcolm but he had come back at me each time. What more could I do, next to just barging him off the circuit? 100m left and he starts a sprint, and overtakes me but I hang on. 50m left – it’s all or nothing. Now or never. I know i’ve got the legs of most people in a sprint finish, but Malc was making it hard for me. 25m to go and we are side by side. The crowd are going wild! Ok, Ok – not really! Malc’s wife was shouting for him, and…i’ve won!!! How in the hell did I manage that? Talk about being evenly matched at the moment. That’s two sprint finishes we’ve had recently and both times i’ve finished one second ahead of him! I suggested afterwards that hey should just let us run the last 400 yards of each race to decide the winner and forget about the actual race.

So 46.04 for me, 33rd overall and amazingly I beat Nigel Sims again (2nd time this year). I was so engrossed with my rivals that it wasn’t until I saw him come in that I realised i’d overtaken him! Lots of people have been asking why i’m putting in such good times at the moment. Well, first of all i’ve lost over half a stone and secondly i’ve been comparatively injury free for the last few months. There are other factors too, but – THEY DON’T INVOLVE DRUGS!

Anyone from MBH I will divulge my secrets (unless you’re in my age group). Anyone else, well you’ll just have to join MBH to find out!

Oh, and by the way, when I find out who was responsible for that diabolical photo of me in the Cornishman at the Turkey Trot, there may well be some police activity in the area… Now every time I see a camera, I stick my head under my arm pit. That’s a scary pic. It scared the hell out of me. And it was me! Why the hell couldn’t it be taken at the start when i’ve got my make up on and hair in place – over to you Mark Omori. Sorry Mark – couldn’t resist some sort of a dig since i’ve not said anything else about you in this report for once!

As for Nigel, well, 45+ age group has got to be the most difficult one to be in at the moment (oh great! – AD) with the likes of Dave Buzza and Shaun Milford in it. So 9th in that age group may not sound great, but believe me its a result. And you are running against people from over the Tamar in quantity. Ian M suffering knee problems but still a creditable 49.10 over 7 miles. You can add 10 to 15 seconds per mile on this one quite easily because of the hills. Nancy Hill managed 4th in her age group behind Fiona Ruetsch of Hayle – well done Nancy. Rachel Tresidder got 3rd in the senior female category – nice one Rachel. And Mark Omori didn’t do anything even though he cut the ends off his shoes – nutter! Others who showed the flag all the way up the county were Sam P, Ian G, Yvonne T and Yvonne W.

Well done to everyone. Next up, well for me it’s the Launceston Treggy 7 on August 31st, but don’t forget St Levan 10k on August 15th (Non-G.P.). And of course for the Tri Loonies, well…loads, but i’m sure you all know the dates.

Keep on running,

Geoff Letchford

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