2015 EMGP: Race 2 – Rugby 6… Days of Thunder (Thighs)

As the McCarkiss fun bus rolled into town, from the other side of town, it was Adcock who set the standard arriving at the race nearly three hours before the start, desperate to do something of note to get into the race report. The ‘media circus’ that follows the project has grown and grown over the last seven days, as the interest has built and built with all manner of local running clubs taking interest in the ‘Mickey Mouse’ team from a non-specific place in the UK.

Arriving at the St Andrews rugby club in Rugby, where they play rugby, McCarthy and Simkiss were mobbed by the waiting media, keen to confirm if the rumours were true. It was left to media spokesmen Hugh Jardon to break the news,

“We can confirm that after much negotiation, the McCarkiss Elite Project has finally has accepted an offer of affiliation with UK Athletics to become an all-encompassing and welcoming member of the UK running club community. I can add nothing further at this stage other than this, I would like to add that further information will be released shortly. The Project has a run to participate in.”

The news wires, whatever they are, were electric with allegations that the Project had gone soft, had become conformist, would participate and not race, would run and not compete, had lost its North Korean roots. Pure McCarthyism.

The current leaders of the 2015 EMGP Team Standings (as per the rules that were applied for every other Series through the 14 year period 2000-2014) trotted off to survey the final mile of the course, where McCarthy normally gives up and watches Simkiss run off into the distance following the humongous final hill. Meanwhile Hywel Davies of Rugby and Northampton AC was caught with our Hugh Jardon, discussing a potential switch following the assurance that if he runs the London Marathon in a Hawaiian shirt, the project wouldn’t care.

Having initiated talks of ‘nobody pushing the pace’, Madcock (as he likes to be known) took it out hard from the gun, opening an early gap and forcing everyone to respond. Rounding the first corner and into descent mode, Adcock was reeled in and the first mile was completed in 5 minutes flat with lead group just about holding together whilst everyone was internally screaming “Why are we running so f#cking fast so early on? Will everyone please just slow the f#ck down”.

The change from descent to gradual incline was like the weight of McCarthy’s booze cupboard loaded onto your back – the pace slowed, but the effort level shot through the roof and the group was redlining and beginning to splinter, just 2 miles into the race. Failed surges from Adcock, Simkiss, Jordan and Kenilworth compatriot Siggers were silly, and just made life unnecessarily harder. 2nd mile complete in 5:07

The climbing continued through mile 3, where Siggers pushed the pace and only Simkiss seemed able to go with it whilst McCarthy had already long since fallen away, a fourth race in 8 days a ridiculous decision. All of a sudden it was Jordan who fell, deciding that 5k last week and just 2 miles this week would be enough for him, his 2:29 marathon still in his legs from London, apparently….

The door was open to potential MCKEP recruit, Hywel Davies, to push on past McCarthy and Jordan, dragging his younger and more attractive Rugby team mate with him. That’s Rugby team mate as in fellow member of Rugby AC, not rugby team mate as in in fellow team mate in a rugby team that happens to play rugby, in Rugby, from the St Andrews rugby field, in Rugby, Rugbyshire. Simkiss and Siggers exchanged the lead until the steep uphill kick entering the 4th mile saw a gap appear and Siggers began to break away. Mile 3 done in 5:34 and halfway in 15:41.

After the initial gap opened, mile 4 became a mile of attempted recovery and consolidation for Simkiss, knowing that Everest awaited in mile 5, Siggers edged further away. White flags out and legs broken, McCarthy and Jordan sat back and watch the race unfold as Adcock continued his bizarre pacing strategy. A downhill mile 4 complete in 5:10

Fresh off last weeks home of UK motorsport inspired victory at Silverstone, Simkiss carved through the racing line hitting the apex’s beautifully to shave centimetres of Siggers lead as the race was now 3 days and 7 hours into the mountainous expedition up Barby Lane Hill where countless lives have been lost in past years (we assume).

Legs were spent and lactic acid was in plentiful supply as athletes dragged themselves along the infamous and never ending Ashlawn Lane – Simkiss found himself with the elastic of Siggers’ coat tails fully stretched and at breaking point; that annoying distance where the athlete in front seems so very far ahead, but not so far that overhauling the deficit would be impossible.

As footsteps began to approach from behind, Simkiss wasn’t sure if he was being closed by McCarthy or Adcock, or even Hywel Towel… and it was time to dig further still into the hurt locker and push on to at least safeguard his 2nd place. Adcock was hungry for running shop vouchers and continued his relentless assault from behind.

Rounding the final corner, visual confirmation of the finish line activated Simkiss’s hardwired sprint instincts; the air chilled and all became still – thunder was coming… thighs of thunder.

Striding out, Simkiss was closing in on Siggers at a surprising rate. Siggers, the endurance monster who’d valiantly pushed the pace at the front throughout the race was lacking the sprint speed to respond. Adcock secured 3rd ahead of ‘in negotiations’ Hywel in 4th, Generic Runner in 5th pushed retired runner, now spectator McCarthy into 6th leaving this weeks ‘most improved runner’ Jordan in 8th.

Two races down, two team wins, two wins in the individual race and specifically two wins for Simkiss. He humbly collected his prize from the race organiser, who couldn’t resist a slightly unnecessary jibe, but the Project thank the race organisers for hosting such a well organised and well run event.

EMGP Team Standings
(As per the rules that were used for every other Series through the 14 year period 2000-2014)

1) McCarkiss Elite Project
2) TBC…

EMGP Individual Standings – Top 4

(As per the rules that were used for every other Series through the 14 year period 2000-2014)

1) Richard Simkiss – McCarkiss Elite Project – 2
2) Matt Adcock – McCarkiss Elite Project – 6
3) Chris McCarthy – McCarkiss Elite Project – 7
4) Chris Jordan – McCarkiss Elite Project – Loads


Days of Thunder Thighs

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