Almost There

By Adam Haylock

The week is flying and it's the penultimate race of the tour already.  This time we headed over to a familiar Chiltern League location at Campbell Park.  There was still a buzz at the start but a definite feeling of lethargy. Everyone seemed organised today and were kitted up ready to go, I decided to have a warm up run to stretch the legs and managed a high five with Elliot who was warming up in opposite direction.  Tim was sporting an original Blue LBAC vest and was poised to protect his MV40 position.  Richard gave us some tips on the course so we knew that we had 0.9 miles from the point he was marshaling.  Time to head over to the start, line up and get in position however there was still time to discuss tactics, compression socks and last night’s bake off.

A fast start was guaranteed as we headed over the park and took a sharp right down the twisty and very steep hill in Campbell Park.  We took up our usual tour positions whilst trying to control leg speed during this strong first mile.  I was tucked in behind Gary Blaber and Chris taking a tow for as long as I could.  We raced onto the canal path jumping over the legs of some chap sitting by the side of his boat having a couple of beers.  The first hill came and I just couldn’t keep up, by now I was racing alongside Andrew Kirschner who had 28 seconds on me for overall 7th place.  We tussled for a bit waiting for someone to make a break for it, I was apprehensive to take the lead but managed to get some space and decided to try and stick with it. The second lap and it was nice to have some home support from Andy, Amy and Baby Erin in her purple LBAC baby grow. I managed to catch up with Jeremy Vick which was great otherwise I would have been running home on my own.  I did my best to stick with him but he was too strong for me on the drag and I fell behind.  I saw Richard for the second time and remembered the 0.9 miles left advice.  Just hold on and try not to let the pace dip too much, it was lovely seeing the finish banner so I could push on and I was pleased to come home in 26.10.

The race ahead is really hotting up with Jordan having another cracker (24.15) and Elliot being the second Buzzard home finishing in a great fourth place (25.05).  Chirs Norman is still milking his ‘Man Flu’ but ran very well taking 6th place.  Tim had another great run and now has a 25 second gap which should be enough for him to secure second place in the MV40 category.  Sam has really stepped up and is showing a new turn of speed this tour while Fred and Fi finished with great times and placings completing the LBAC set.

Thanks to another runner having his birthday today we were all lucky enough to enjoy some cakes and cookies from Costco while discussing the exciting prospect of tomorrow’s final race.  The obvious focus is the battle between Jordan and Elliot with after 5 races there is only one second between them.  It will be fast, intense and we will all be wearing white.  I look forward to the post-race pint and final tour stories and most importantly a rest on Saturday.