Birmingham XC League – Race 2: Abington Park, Northampton

As we enter the festive season, bugger all of significance happening in camp MCKEP. Although to bring everyone up to speed: Simkiss has been bucking the trend and avoiding carbs in a bid to lose weight through the ‘dark arts’ of ketosis, and McCarthy has seen his vow to “take it easy over the festive period” start in fine form as he’s started running doubles again for the first time in over 6 months.

McCarthy was absent from Race 2 of the 2014 Birmingham Cross Country League – rumour is he was unable to turn down an afternoon of teabagging in London’s borough of Chelsea, but Simkiss made the journey to Abington Park in Northampton, with wife and dog in tow, to see just how slow he was after 4 weeks of low carb dieting, and thus, 4 weeks of low intensity exercise.

With a steady start, Simkiss watched his former club rival Andrew Siggers (still at the club – just no longer a rival) disappear off into the distance and settled into the crowd around Stu Hopkins and Paul Andrew. Simkiss’s new slow-burn fuelling system saw him struggling and slowing on anything of positive gradient, but quite capable on the flat and descents – which lead to yo-yo’ing of position over the early laps with FOTP Hopkins.

Chants of abuse (/encouragement) from Mrs Simkiss weren’t enough to see our athlete in the sort of race position he wanted but eventually Simkiss worked his way clear of Hopkins and found himself gradually closing in on Phil “I can touch my toes” Gould.

As they entered the final lap, Simkiss was 15m down, feeling like 150m down on Gould, who himself was battling with Rich White of Halesowen. Rounding the bottom lake, Simkiss surged on a big climb of the lap, closing the gap and labouring past Gould and White, along with another random or two – but he was soon paying the price with legs filled with lactic. Gould and White regained their advantage over Simkiss, although Simkiss was able to catch a thread of the elastic from White’s shorts to just about keep him in contention on the run in to the finish.

The deadly finishing kick of Simkiss saw his race transform – fears of what could’ve been a lowly and embarassing 61st position were quashed as Simkiss powered his way through to 59th place.

Those around Simkiss are calling for him to stop fannying around and return to eating normally, though the MCKEP athlete remains focussed on sticking to his ‘long term development plan’ and eating pork scratchings.

Next week… Telford 10k

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