Round MK Relay 2017
Round MK Relay 2017
by James Bell
Alan Turing, mathematician and computer scientist of Bletchley Park fame, once said that ‘We can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there that needs to be done.‘ How prophetic he was. Perhaps you don’t know but Turing was an avid runner whose best marathon time was 2:46. Maybe, just maybe, the tow paths that were run over the weekend were also used by Turing to train. In any case, I think he would have liked the fact that runners would orbit the great city like possessed electrons zooming round a 31 mile course.
Now here’s another interesting thing, Brian Graves who created the event in 1999, was also a mathematician and runner, and so in more ways than one we have come full circle. Now we have done that, let’s begin.
A task nearly as hard as deciphering code, was getting the teams together. Those who have done the event before, and I am not one of them, will know that whilst LBAC has some elite runners, we mix everything up to make MKAC and Redway runners feel a little bit better about themselves. I jest of course, but fast forward to the results, we could have won the event if we had chosen a totally rocking team. But, we have greater things to achieve and achieve them we did. I am not going to go into great detail about the results, but if you are a nerd and haven’t looked yet here they are.
The outstanding team was ‘Stand and Deliver’ with Adam Haylock, Jess Jenkins, myself and Liz Peters. I am not referring to any athletic ability, it’s just that we were the only team to offer a name, the eight other LBAC team were all planes, but where was the Airbus A380 I ask? Anyway, each team had at least one female runner in it and they were generally the ones having fun. By example, Alison Bell, my lovely wife asked what running a relay was like. I told her that the MK relay was designed to be fun and wasn’t that serious. I entered knowing full well that all the blokes were unlikely to see the fun side and would run as hard as they could. And so it provided to be. Whilst there was a healthy dose of serious running by the ladies, they seemed to be having much more fun than the men who were obsessed with their leg times once finished.
Now, I could go into great detail about each and every performance – I shall resist. Here’s a quick summary of each leg.
Leg 1: I was impressed with Mark Haynes who ran a 10 mile PB and amazed that David Killick even made it to the end, given his injuries. I do think it’s unfair that Billy can run so fast, producing a sub 1 hour 10 mile run to start the LBAC Vulcans with a blinding performance on a diet of pickled eggs and beer. A narrow victory by Adam Haylock over Tim Inchley will no doubt be carried over to the forthcoming club races but both will be chasing Tom Inchley who was second in the leg to Billy crossing the line in 1:03 but first to hand over. Jo Sharples was narrowly in front of the chipper Gareth Bird in terms of time who both should be pleased with their performances. Amy Inchley, who ran a 1:18, was 4 minutes off her personal best 10 mile time but I think many like her were feeling the heat on such a long leg.
Leg 2: On leg 2 everyone was under the hour, which for a mix that included beginners is quite something. During the hand-over between David running off leg 1 and Coralie starting leg 2, there was a near miss with a bike. Undeterred, Coralie zoomed off in a fashion not unlike her cross country performances earlier in the season. Richard Inchley might play the ‘veteran card’ now and then but don’t listen – he’s rather good and was second fastest coming in at an impressive 44 minutes. I know that Mariella Bandini was worried because she had been working night shifts, so I take my hat off to her for even completing the leg. Kate Johnson decided that she’d walk a marathon a few days before the relay to maximise the chances of getting blisters. This clearly worked but unfortunately affected her performance. For some of us, we have to train quite hard to get anywhere at all, but for others they can just rock up and do well. Nikki Elvin is a perfect example, pulling in at a cool 46 minutes. First timers, Alison Bell and Andrea Meek were perhaps were surprised that they ran so fast coasting to a 49 and 56 minute performances respectively. Alison knew that Uzma Peeran ran about the same speed and so it proved to be on the day with 20 seconds difference.
Leg 3: This was an entirely male affair. Chris Dimmock was first off, although like many of us he didn’t quite realise it until a few seconds before the handover. I should say that it’s difficult to spot athletes running towards you especially when you don’t know what they look like. This was a problem that faced the newly invested Steve Sharples, Jo’s dad. I tell you he’s no slouch, running a sub one hour 9 mile run – impressive for a V50. Andy Inchley, Graham Magill and Stuart Read quickly followed but I think Graham and Stuart for various reasons could not quite match Steve’s pace. I suspect that Stuart has plans. I followed and then Ben Sampson and Chris Norman came soon after. To say that Chris was elated at being 4 seconds faster than Andy, both running at an impressive 55 minutes, is an understatement. Again, I suspect Andy has plans. I do too and that means trying to keep Steve behind me as I was only a gnat’s whisker in front of him. Well, Ben Sampson wins the prize for the meatiest quads – a cyclist by default, he was still able to put those muscles to good work and come in at the hour for the leg. Stuart Dimmock might have started too fast as each mile he slowed, yet he still made it round in 1:11.
Leg 4: MK is known for its concrete cows, but on this leg the real ones had behaviour that just was not cricket and spooked a few runners. I suspect that this was no bad thing because at least people would increase the pace in the field where they were charging around. Now, Charlie Mead is a graceful runner and makes hard work look easy – he came first on his leg, but was closely followed by the rapidly improving Sam Dear who has put his injuries behind him and is now running well again. Both recorded 38 minute performances. Alex Killick was no doubt pleased with her 1.03 performance and keeps on improving which is what we like to see. Jenni Read and Nikki Inchley also both ran extremely well coming in for their teams in 50 minutes, one minute ahead of the iron women, Fi Towell, who is training very hard for a swim, bikey thing with some running to finish and Danish pastries for afters.
Alex Killick (left) and Nikki Inchley (right) bringing their teams home in style.
Sean Westrope is now heavily involved with running a great many events with the club and seems to enjoy the pain. A V55, Sean did well to come close to Nick Clay, our seasoned V50, who seems to have unusually benefitted from marathon training for once, instead of it breaking him. Both should be pleased with their competitive 44 and 41 performances respectively. Let’s not forget Liz Peters who was the overall fastest female for her leg in a speedy 44 minutes….and on my team, get in!
We then departed to the pub in the knowledge that we had all benefitted from the glow of cooperation, team spirit and a healthy dollop of good running. Beer then followed – what else could anyone possibly want on a sunny Sunday.