As the year draws to a close and our ‘Champion Runner of the Year’ event is upon us, the time is right to publish our annual review and look back at the highlights of 2018.
For our founding fathers, McCar and Kiss (Simkiss and McCarthy) it has been a contrasting year. Early year predictions (based on the last few years) would presume that Simkiss would go further under 2:30 and McCarthy would go further over 230 lbs, but that hasn’t been the case. Having messed around earlier in the year and running a rather average (by his own standards) 2:42 at London, Simkiss hasn’t raced since 22nd April, instead concentrating on ripping up floor boards and modifying parts of his house. Meanwhile, the hunt for his wife is still ongoing and any information or sightings would be appreciated.
Who knows what is in store for 2019, whilst promises of a return to running with a optimistic sub3 target at London, realists know he’ll probably be concreting the patio or selling-up and absconding to Benidorm. Either way, he needs to sort his sh#t out if he’s to counteract the current fast track route to Chubbsville with McCarthy (again).
McCarthy continued to defy the medical world and attempted yet another return to running, this time with some progress, overcoming nearly three years of injury. He is now a firm favourite for our beer mile in late December having been relatively injury free now for 9 months and there is absolutely no sign of injury on the horizon (whilst this article was being written McCarthy withdrew from the McCarkiss beer mile due to a torn hamstring, which was healing from a prior injury, until he ignored the physio and tore it again).
Finally admitting he doesn’t know it all (he does), McCarthy decided to work with Tom Craggs and opened his season with a parkrun down in Hampshire,18:51. Whilst this showed promise, nothing really materialised all year. A 38:55 in Stratford (with Simkiss on the bike) followed by a 38:35 in Dubai Festival City showed promise. Culminating in two DNF’s due to injury and a DNS in the Dubai Creek Half Marathon, his target race of the year. Actually he is just as injured as ever.
With entries confirmed for the Dubai Marathon and London Marathon, the only thing we can look forward to is whether they will be DNF or DNS results.
Gaz Davies was a not a name many at McCarkiss had heard of before this year, because no-one knew who he was and no-one had heard of him. Never a hotly contested trophy, the best newcomer of the year award usually goes to the only newcomer of the year (aside from the years when nobody joins, by default it then goes to Simkiss).
This year was different and When McCarthy muted Gaz for the award at the annual board meeting, it was agreed it was a clear toss up between Gaz and Jonny Leatherbarrow for the award. The main discussion points came down to two things. Simkiss thought that they were actually both the same person and secondly, and Jonny didn’t join this year, so at this point Gaz became a clear favourite. The one man category was whittled down to one man and we are pleased to announce Gary Davies as our newcomer of the year. On a serious note he has progressed very well this year, 17:18 for 5k and he is now down over 10k from 41:49 to 36:36. If he could stop doing stupid mountain runs then he should get under 34 next year, mediocre sign of achievement that we all strive for.
Another mention must go to Matt Adcock who again has seemed to disappear into the abyss. A few runs on the track were accompanied by the odd Parkrun outing, but based on his Instagram, Matt has become some sort of ‘Oscar Wilde’, seemingly taking up flamboyant activities such as ‘cooking’ and ‘making things’. We can only hope he doesn’t end up getting jailed and contracting meningitis. He also still hasn’t paid his membership fee.
“Wilkomme”. As our friends Mark Pearce and Chris Simkiss might say to people they meet in the street (because they live in Switzerland). As we all know, part of the appeal about running for McCarkiss stems from the fact you don’t have to see the people you are team mates with. You don’t have to meet up on cold Tuesday’s in civic venues where historical sex abuse claims linger. You don’t have to bake cakes and talk about Radio 4. Rumour has it, you don’t even have to be human. That said, nothing could be further from the truth from our two Swizz expats, our, ‘Ant & Dec’, our ‘Dick & Dom’, or our, ‘Elton & David. We were sad to see them leave back in 2016 when they left the British Isles to set up their Chocolate factory in the Swiss village of Albinen. That said they have kept up a strong link with McCarkiss and both put the grey and slightly less grey vest on the map this year, in Europe.
Pearce has performed above all expectations, given his age, with a win in Cardiff at the British Athletics League Premiership over 1500 in 3:58.31. Looking at his Power of 10, the stand out result has to be his 28th position at the Liverpool British Athletics Cross Champs. I was adamant he ran a club record in Valencia over the marathon in 2:28:23, but he seems to have actually run a club record of 1:08:27 at the Manchester Half. He also seems to have grown an afro, previously been coached by one of the most underrated Beatles, be a U23 and be running for Shaftesbury. Oh hang on….
It was a quieter year for Chris who spent the year playing in the snow, playing around on 2 wheels, breaking bones, and taking selfies on mountains… he even entered his first Triathlon – desperate times.
Chris Jordan. As boring as ever with fantastic performances across the board. The ‘music classroom insurance requirement’ hit the right note over 5000m this year with a 15:35 but has continued to focus on the marathon, again breaking 2:30. Simkiss is now hoping that decline will set in, surely he cannot carry on this level of performance.
Finally, Hywel Davies is considering which sport to attempt a world record in, through 2019. Having wrestled a bear and brought down an RAF Tornado with his piss stream. A special mention to all those that we lost this year, Mark Poyinten was a loyal member of our Great Newham relay squad and our thoughts go out to his family.
Best Newcomer: Gaz Davies
Clubman of the Year: Gav McDermott
McCarkiss Champion Runner of the Year: TBC at the Beer Mile
McCarkiss Endurance Performance of Highest Mediocrity Award: Announced at the Award Ceremony
2018 Rankings for the Important Distances
Sadly, despite McCarkiss Admin best efforts, The above rankings do not include several performances from some of our second claim members – UK Athletics are ‘hot on it’ and assure us that after 12months of waiting their system should update soon.
Additional praise must go to the following persons and performances this year:
Ludo Renou – for Smashing under the 2:29 marathon mark in McCarkiss Style (2:28:59) at Frankfurt – a sterling effort from our Frenchman.
Anthony Hatswell – For a progressive year and continual improvements – PB’s at many distances, and showing his best form for years (arguably his best form ever)… despite starting in the ‘fun run’ section of London Marathon in 2019, his training for 2018 suggests good things await next year.
Gav McDermott – Mentioned only briefly above as Clubman of the Year – McCarthy has a full video montage prepared for the Clubs AGM and presentation evening, however in a nutshell, Gav has flown the McCarkiss Flag (vest) across the globe, and delivered some great results – many PB’s across many distances. UKA may show him as Hermitage athlete – but we all know where his heart lies. Thank you Gavin.