Saturday saw the much anticipated McCarkiss trip to Braunstone, where the project had organised a stellar field consisting of Jordan, Adcock, Simkiss, McCarthy and new MCKEP recruit, Hywel Davies. Chief organiser Adcock had promised the McCarkiss boys a fast and flat course with a ‘stacked’ field.
The mailshot that Adcock circulated on the club Whatsapp group looked something like this;
Boys, the following people are 100% confirmed;
Ash Chambers of Liverpool Harriers; a name hot on the MCKEP radar after some fantasic performances in the closing stages of the EMGP.
Wilfy Williams; the old fella who Simkiss just pipped at Silverstone.
Matt Poynton; friend of the Project who is often down at the track in Nuneaton
Tony Woodward; from my old club Hermitage.
Tony Forryan; possible calf strain so may just pace the first 4k
Coventry Godiva; the whole club I think
Du’aine Ladejo; Ever reliable
Warwick Davies; may run in the kids run free event but will be there
85% Confirmed; Jonny Hay, Jonny Mellor, Tom Lancashire and Keith Chegwin
I know that most of us are going sub16
In a world first, Simkiss offered McCarthy a lift and arrived at MCKEP HQ (the unofficial one, not the one at Draycote Water) only ten minutes late for once, where he was greeted by a hungover McCarthy. A heavy night left our co-founder feeling a little worse for wear, but still committed to the cause.
Driving at warp speed over to Hinckley, Simkiss and McCarthy arrived at the home of Jordan now running only 15 minutes late. Except it wasn’t the correct address…. With only 70 minutes to go until the race start, Jordan began firing flares from his back garden in a bid to alert Simkiss to his whereabouts. Things were looking bad and the reality that Jordan would not be there to join the Parkrun organisers on there pre race walk around to kick the tramps out of the race route was starting to set it.
Safely collected, the three MCKEP athletes made their way over to Leicester. Already on the verge of a heart attack due to the unprecedented levels of stress he was suffering, McCarthy began to turn the screw with Jordan by questioning his whole existence. Ludicrous jibes such as; ‘What exactly is the point in a music teacher, aside from being present for insurance purposes’, and ‘If you ever want any proper work experience in the real world, Simkiss and I would be more than happy to accommodate you as an intern’. Jordan didn’t bite though and instead began to discuss the short course that McCarthy set his Half Marathon PB on (ED: It wasn’t short, it was bang on, he just took some short cuts.)
Having tore Jordan apart for 30 minutes, McCarthy was feeling much better. Adcock and Davies joined the arguing duo plus Simkiss and they waited around for Chambers, Ladejo et al. Given the fact that Godiva were probably going to come on a coach given the numbers that Adcock had confirmed, Jordan set about coning out an area so the coach could manouever into position safely. Simkiss busied himself briefing all the Parkrun marshalls on who Du’ane Ladejo actually was and informed them of the correct manner in which to greet him. Davies hurridly made up his special energy drinks, given the heat and the extra 250 sub 17 standard runners that Adcock had mentioned, decanting water from a 2 litre bottle into 200ml cups, displacing the air that was in there. McCarthy, ever the safety conscious athlete, made his was back out onto the ring road in Leicester and implemented a one way system to ensure the mass numbers that Adcock had forecasted didn’t disrupt the traffic flow, special thanks to the Highways Agency for their support.
Ten minutes until the race started and the MCKEP athletes were still in their assigned manning points, conscious they should go and join the waiting masses for what would surely be the fastest and most well attended Parkrun in the history of Parkrun. At the race start line, the organisers were busy presenting Adcock with a bouquet of flowers for all his organisation. The Mayor of Leicester took to the stage that had been erected for the post race presentation to say a few words before inviting a host of famous Leciester names onto the stage, Gary Lineker, David Attenborough, Gok Wan, Manish Bhasin, the band Kasabian. The highly controversial corpse known as Richard III even made an appearance. With just minutes to go the waiting masses erupted as a bag of Walkers Cheese and Onion crisps crossed the stage, ever so gently in what was a subtle tailwind, even Adcock couldn’t have arranged for a bag of crisps to make an appearance? It was left to Alastair Campbell to confirm that it was just stray litter, as he walked across the stage with Emile Heskey and Phil Shaw to get ready to start the race.
The scene was set, every man and his dog from Leicester had arrived as well as, co-incidently, the majority of the people from the Wikipedia page entitled ‘List of famous people from Leicester’, this really was a who’s who of famous people from Leicester.
The course itself was 5km with the middle bit looped twice. The first mile had a humongous down hill which was repeated at halfway. The duck pond was passed twice and fortunately the sharp climb at halfway was only tackled once.
The four MCKEP athletes who had been controlling the elite arrival area back at the leisure centre made their way over and it became clear that the elite field that Adcock had assembled was essentially non existent, even the corpse of Richard III got up and left. Adcock made his excuses and the MCKEP team plus Tony Woodward stood on the start line absolutely bewildered that they had travelled all the way here and been sold an absolute kipper. The race began and straight away Adcock rushed to the front, either to take the pace out or to escape the angry, slow, mob that was threatening him with a beating for his false advertising. McCarthy quickly fell off the back of the lead group as his head began to throb with every step. Hitting the downhill however, he decided now was probably the best time to make an attempt to win the race, with only 4.5km to go, tearing the field apart he sprinted as fast as he could to open up a ten metre gap before developing serious heartburn. Simkiss went with McCarthy, safe in the knowledge that McCarthy is a d*ckhead.
Passing through the first mile in 5:05, McCarthy’s unofficial pace making duty was over and he duly slipped through the field as Adcock, Simkiss, Davies, Jordan and then Woodward filed through. The race unravelled with Adcock leading out Simkiss, Jordan and Davies battling it out and Woodward opening up more and more space on McCarthy. The race hit the climb and in true original McCarkiss style, Simkiss lost 20 yards to Adcock over the next 5 yards.
Aside from a little tussle between Jordan and Davies for third, in which the talentless musician edged it, there was not much else to report at the front end. Meanwhile back in 5th, Woodward had it sewn up, and with it, the rumour mill began that he was off to MCKEP. 30 yards back McCarthy found himself battling the delights of Braunstone Parkrun; Canadian Geese, farcical underfoot conditions, more surfaces than a kitchen store and the fun of lapping runners but being mistaken for being on his first lap.
|1||Matty ADCOCK||16:00||VM35-39||84.06 %||M||1||McCarkiss Endurance Project||PB stays at 00:15:29||31|
|2||Richard SIMKISS||16:10||SM30-34||80.21 %||M||2||McCarkiss Endurance Project||First Timer!||22|
|3||Chris JORDAN||16:13||VM35-39||81.29 %||M||3||McCarkiss Endurance Project||New PB!||7|
|4||Hywel DAVIES||16:16||VM40-44||83.91 %||M||4||McCarkiss Endurance Project||PB stays at 00:16:00||79|
|5||Anthony WOODWARD||16:29||SM30-34||78.67 %||M||5||Soon to be; McCarkiss Endurance Project||PB stays at 00:16:22||15|
|6||Chris McCarthy||16:41||SM 15-19||92.6%||M||6||McCarkiss Endurance Project||PB stays at 14:01||56|
A roaring success for the first MCKEP Parkrun takeover. Will Matt Adcock be joining NOVA International to work in their ‘Elite Field Organisation’ team.