Next year I think I’ll change the time of this event – every year (this is the fourth one now) that this event takes place the weather is against us. Yesterday we had great weather, today up until about 10.45am and from midday, we had great weather. Today, at 10.45am it started raining, and it just got heavier and colder. By 11am it was pouring down. The competitors were all huddled together next to a wall for protection from the wind and rain – the marshals were drenched before the race even started and it was high tide with the waves rolling in up the beach – so much so that we couldn’t even start the race in the normal place!!
At 11am the whistle was blown for the two minutes silence (Ges Wallace, one of the time-keepers, thought that that was the start of the race and started the stop-watch and was frantically trying to re-set it – luckily we had about six stop watches on the go).
The runners had been briefed that this was going to be a tough run due to the fact that it was just off high tide and there wasn’t a lot of beach left! The first obstacle were the rocks sticking out of the sand by the start line. These had to be hurdled over or avoided.
Next came the river crossing where they had to contend with a shear drop into the river, run a bit further to get to a more gentler run across it or take the easy option of the footbridge. The river was extremely fast flowing and deep in places but everyone seemed to keep their footing and not fall into it.
They then had to stay on the beach until there was no sand left to run on. Then they were allowed to take a slipway (which was under water) onto the footpath through the car park at Long Rock and back onto the beach once again until the turnaround point near the wooden bridge. This was also under water!
There was quite a lot of wave dodging, which no-one appeared to do very well as everyone got caught. Some competitors decided that running in the sea was easier than running on the soft sand and shingle! There were wet ankles (and above) all round.
By the time the last runner crossed the line in 61 minutes the rain stopped and the sun started coming out.
First home, for the third year running, was Mike Robinson of Mounts Bay Harriers in 27.12. This time proves how tough the run was as the distance was just under four miles due to the high tide. Just under seven minute miling is a bit slow for Mike!! He was 1 minute 45 seconds ahead of second placed Gary Randall from Madron who finished in 28.57 (Quick Ian, sign him up!) and third Alex Daniels of Newquay Road Runners in 29.08.
For the women, Sarah Kenworthy from Helston was first in 31.53 who was over two minutes ahead of Gary’s sister, Carol Randall, of Mounts Bay Harriers in 33.58. Third home was the youngest runner 16-year-old Josephine Gilbert of Par and Newquay AC in 34:35.
In the age groups, Mike, Gary and Alex were the first home in the male under 40s so, to share the prizes more evenly, the next three home in this age group received these awards being Aaron Jose of Cornwall AC 30.16, Daniel Stockdale from Plymouth in 32.22 and Myles Faulkner from Helston in 32.37.
The male over 40s was won by John Waldie of Cornwall AC in 31.12, followed by Jonno Gibbins from Mounts Bay Harriers in 31.41 with John Thompson of Newquay Road Runners coming in third in 32.48.
The female under 40s picking up the prizes were Emily Smith from Falmouth in 40.40, Claire Bailey of the Womens Running Network in 40.48 and Anissia White from Penryn in 41.36.
For the over 40s, Sarah Choak and Janet Watson (recently returned from competing in the Hawaii Ironman) from Falmouth Road Runners picked up first and second in 37.39 and 39.32 respectively with Lesly Heather of Penryn following in 40.24.
48 runners took part with ages ranging from 16 to 74. Over ?50 was raised for the Poppy Appeal.
A huge thanks to all the marshals who turned up today and got absolutely soaked! It wasn’t nice out there…
Many thanks also to Mounts Bay Sailing Club for the use of their HQ for registration and prize presentations and to St Aubyn’s Estate for the use of Folly Field car park.
If anyone has any photos then please email them to me HERE as I didn’t get any!!