Well I'm not laying claim or allocating the roles but we, of the mighty Bristol Water, only managed to field three runners in the Axa Inter-Companies Road Race (5.5 miles). It's not like we would have won but it would have been nice to score a team of four. At least then we could have had the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful.
And so, to the race. Colin 'Cruise Control' Hunt, running in the M60 category, was up for it. The fire burning within - granted, it was deep deep within but never the less the pilot light was on. And Graham 'I don't think I'll break forty' Crump doubting his strength and inner resolve to the last. Me, well, I was ready and totally up for it.
From the gun I led it out from about fortieth place. I was happy to let John Duncan set the early pace at the front, ably followed by Jon Goodland. In fact, I was quite happy to let John set the late pace as he romped to an emphatic victory in the Axa Stadium of Dreams with Jon coming home third.
I ran my own race. I took it out hard and slowly picked my way through the field. I knew I'd run hard by the fact I met Huey after the finish. Haven't met him in quite a while so it was good to know I can still get acquainted and run on the edge. According to the GPS I ran pretty even splits apart from the quick downhill and the slower uphill. Even so, I was pleased with a 4:20km on the uphill as it's pretty steep. In the end I powered through the line to finish 13th with a time of 34:06. Just outside my ultimate target of 34 but well inside the 35 minute barrier. To be totally honest I didn't really think I could go under 34 so to get so close is top dollar. I've confirmed to myself I'm in good shape and with that I am happy. And looking at the times of some of those ahead of me and extrapolating the data together with previous key performance indicators I believe my time corresponds well with a flat 5 mile time of around 30 minutes and certainly faster than my current PB pf 30:43 - I will have to run some of the Weston Prom races in the coming months to test my hypothesis.
Second home for the Water was Graham, destroying the 40 minute barrier, obliterating the 39 minute barrier and smashing his way through the 38 minute barrier - OK, smashing may be a bit strong but 37:58 sees a much improved performance from him - onwards and upwards from here me thinks.
And what can I say of our third man home - no, really, what can I say? Only kidding, Colin had a corker - mind you, he looked completely shagged at the end but what a run from the little known man of running. Surprising even himself, he came home in around 46 and half minutes. I think the pilot light is starting to fire up the boiler.
All in all it was a great little race which went off without a hitch. Well done to Jon for Organising it and thanks to all those who helped and marshaled. I shall return next year do defend my 13th place.
Thought for the day: Always try to be modest and be proud of it!