Our man in the melee, Simon Jamison has been out again-to take part and report in his own inimitable way on the Brass Monkey race at York-Noreen
…And it was!
After a summer of injury and a few DNS I decided no more racing until Easter at the earliest, so obviously I got myself a last minute number for the brass monkey half marathon in York in January. I mean come on, I had been back running for at least 3 weeks without an injury, well obviously when I say without an injury I don’t mean without an injury but I mean without an ‘injury’. A niggle as you know is not an injury, a twinge is not an injury and more often than not an injury is not strictly classified as an injury unless you can’t walk without limping. Last time I did this race was 2010 and there were only 4 poly runners taking part, this year saw over 30 of us on the start line. So, what was the race plan to be? I’m running well in training but I’m certainly not fit enough to race this.
I find myself at the start standing alongside Richard Hanley and John Sayer and the Paul’s, Richardson and Robertson up ahead.
The usual pre-race ritual of pointing at people wearing hats and laughing takes place to pass the time and we’re off.
First few hundred metres passes and a glance at the watch shows I’m running way too fast and I hear Angela Green passing comment to Terry Brown behind me that it’s a bit quick. Now a sensible man would heed this warning and ease back a little, after all we still have 13 miles of racing to go. But I am most certainly not a sensible man, when it comes to running I am a fool. When it comes to racing I am positively stupid. My usual thought is, ‘What’s the worst that could happen’. So naturally I keep going. The conditions are perfect, and for the first few miles I’m enjoying my running. At 6 miles John glances across at me and tells me ‘it’s a bit quick’. He’s right and with that he’s off and that’s the last I see of him. I catch up with another Poly man, James Thompson and pass the next 2 miles together chatting and trying desperately to distract ourselves from the fact we’re still strangely clocking sub 7 minute miles. After a while James also advises me it’s a bit quick and drops back and I’m still going but lack of fitness and training seems to be tapping me on the shoulder and reminding me this is all very silly. 10 miles and I have very little left, sudden urge to eat a bacon sandwich isn’t diminished by a gel- bacon flavour gels, now there’s an idea… At this point I’m passed by a man wearing a hat. Now I have a thing about people passing me wearing what I see as the wrong racing clothes. A running hat is for running to the poly in and back home again, not for racing and a man in hat, tights and long sleeve top has no place beating me. It would be the same if it was Mo Farah, so I’d like to say I stormed past him but obviously I was knackered and he was running well. So instead I tucked in behind him and stayed there for as long as I could cursing his hat wearing head under my breath. As we turn the final bend back into the racecourse, there’s about 400m to go. I look at my watch and can see I’ve had a good run and may even be close to my pb, probably a minute or so off it. I push on and turn into the home stretch and hear the Paul’s shouting my name, glance at the Garmin and give it all I have to pass the line and clock 1:32:13. Staggered to get a 14 second pb and better still ‘hatman’ is behind me, and I have no doubt it was the weight of his hat that prevented him beating me. All in all it was a brilliant day for the Poly and pb’s all over the place with some stunning runs by Paul Richardson 1:23:53, Paul Robertson 1:24:05, Michelle Thompson 1:28:00, John Sutcliffe 1:29:12, John Sayer 1:30:08, Terry Brown 1:34:33 and Angela Green 1:34:39 to mention just a few.
Full Poly results –
As for me, it was a good day. I drank half a bottle of wine the night before, had wine gums for breakfast and ran a pb. Exactly the same plan Paula Radcliffe always followed. Next race is likely to be the North Tyneside 10k and my plimsolls and eyeballs will be suitably ready as will the red wine and wine gums. I hear it’s going to be cold at Easter-should probably get myself a hat for that one.