Sat here with a cold beer, Plymouth seems a long time ago. But that’s probably the effects of sleep deprivation. To drive into Plymouth before the roads were closed, we left Pz at 6.30 on Sunday morning. As I walked to meet my lift with Ian, Sue and Marie, I passed several young things on their way home from, hopefully, a good night out. As I sipped my water, they were finishing their dregs from various cans. We picked up Nigel en route and soon we were Plymouth bound. The main topics of conversation were Ian’s interest for all things involving lubrication and whether the driving rain would make for a pleasant morning. Nigel predicted sunshine ahead – and his optimism was rewarded with improving weather as the day progressed. In the twinkling of an eye (not really) we were parked up and walking on the Hoe – alternating between drinking (no, not alcohol) and finding toilets. As we passed the big screen, they were showing a replay of last year’s race and we saw Yvonne finishing with a big smile (or was it a grimace?). As if it wasn’t enough to work out how to fit the timing chips, Ian then produced a pair of nipple protectors. He offered to fit them, but surprisingly had no takers. We met up with Dan and so six MBH members lined up for the 10 a.m. start. Nigel was looking ahead to a PB (sub 1:30), while Sue was alarmed by the news that they would start dismantling the course at 12:30 (we knew she had no reason to worry).
So, how did it all go? We all finished. We missed Dan in getting back to our car, but he was already home and dry by 12:30. Sue was well ahead of the pickup trucks and Marie and I finished under the 2 hour mark. I had harboured pretensions of 1:45, but when the pace setter sailed past me at 9 miles exhorting everyone to relax and get ready for the next push, I sensed it might not be today. And I wasn’t wrong: from there it was downhill all the way – sadly my mile splits, not the course. Ian (of the hurty knee thing) too was going well at 9 miles (tucked in with Nigel and the 1:30 pace setters) but found it hard over those last four miles. Cracking that 1:30 will have to wait a little longer. Nigel, on the other hand, found something extra and moved ahead of the 1:30 pace setters. He pushed hard (is “caned it” a technical expression?) and came home with a PB of sub 1:28! Good one Nigel.
Now the race was all over, we could enjoy the rewards of our efforts. The event is well organised and the Hoe looked good bathed in sunshine. 5,000 athletes took advantage of free food and drink. The race is well supported by the public and is clearly popular locally. We just had to head home. And sometimes when you’re tired, your minds plays tricks. I’m sure I remember Ian’s phone shouting “message” at us and Sue was recalling a whole forecourt of Minis we had passed (which none of us – bar Sue – had noticed).
A good day out. And now back to the fridge . . .