The Final Flourish
By Adam Haylock
Day 6 already, and the ultimate race of The Brian Graves Tour of Milton Keynes. For the final time I rush home from work, pack my stuff and make my way from Aylesbury through the rush hour traffic towards race HQ. The week has taken its toll and instead of bouncing out the door like before this time it was more of a weary shuffle. However, I was still excited to arrive at the Sports Pavilion at Woughton on the Green and meet up with the rest of the guys and race one final time.
It was great to see everyone wearing the white tour vests, I felt proud to wear mine and was ready to crack on seeing what I had left in my legs. There were quite a few exhausted looking athletes standing on the start line ready to take on the 6.4 miles and any personal battles for positioning. I was knackered but not ready to give up on finishing the tour in 7th place, though that would require taking sixteen seconds off Andy Kirschner from Shenley Striders which would be tough.
Lets go… Normally I can’t help myself by getting stuck into a fast start but tonight I was really hoping for a steady one. Unfortunately Andrew took off so I decided to try and make a race of it, two miles in and I was feeling it although luckily I caught him up and managed to settle in. At this stage of the tour I was extremely reluctant to take on the last 4 miles on my own and was looking behind for the cavalry. Who else? but one of the ‘Old Guard’ Tim Inchley. He decided he wasn’t going to let us go out with a whimper and stepped forward dictating the pace for the last four miles. My only chance of gaining 7th place was to kick on at the five mile mark but I just couldn’t and was working hard to stay with Tim. Andy took it on at 5.9 miles so I went with him but unfortunately didn’t have the strength to keep up let alone over take him. The final straight was on the field towards the finish and for the 6th and final time I sprinted home as fast as my legs would take me!
There were far more important battles going on, none other than Leighton Buzzard’s very own Jordan and Elliot who were competing for 3rd place. Elliot’s sudden increase in speed lately has been more than impressive and we are all aware of Jordan’s formidable running ability at just 17. Five races in and unbelievably there was a just single second between them. There were no tactics, Jordan was going to start hard and Elliot had to keep pace and see what he could do. Both had an awesome race with Jordan coming home 3rd and Elliot 5th, great effort guys and what a tour.
Chris Norman, Sam, Fred and Fi proudly completed the tour and we grabbed another opportunity for a team photo, this time all in white. By now there was a chill in the air so everyone headed for the pavilion and grabbed a shower before the buffet and prize giving. Sam kindly bought me a pint and I tucked into the buffet. Onto the awards and Andrew Wasdell took to the stage to present, a highlight saw Jordan collecting 3rd place, a great achievement and what a future he has. Tim impressively came second in the MV40 category with Gary Blaber from MMKAC taking the honours.
This has been a superb event, incredibly well run, I will especially miss meeting up with the LBAC team and other running friends next week. Special thanks to my brilliant wife Katie for allowing me the opportunity to take part in this week long event which has a huge clash with the bath and bedtime routine for Florence and Edward. As much as I would love to take part next year I will still be working on my ‘brownie points’ deficit and who knows Katie might even take part herself!
Great fun and thanks to MMKAC for organising and letting us take part.