The BUPA London 10000 was to be the third race in 5 weeks in the big smoke for the MCKEP originals McCarthy and Simkiss – the pair had been looking forward to this race for months and were primed for a great run. Fitness levels were on the brink of an all time high, the field was stacked with athletes better than the McCarkiss duo, and McCarthy had booked himself in for his EPO injections to counter balance his ever increasing need for a bionic hip. Not even the lure of a guaranteed bronze medal for just finishing the County 5000m Track Champs at Nuneaton ‘Cheese & Chive’ Pingles track would be enough to derail the focus on this major event.
An early start saw the boys nearly on the first train from Rugby to London. Simkiss keen to keep his legs fresh opted for the lift which ejected the pair in a locked room on the platform, yards from the train as the doors closed and it departed the station. Having broken free, the next train was due in 15 minutes, leaving 15 minutes of sitting around doing nothing.
Once London bound, via a change at Northampton, the option of the 7:00 or 7:04 for an 8:24 or 8:28 arrival caused much discussion on the state of the British railways, nationalisation of public services and when McCarthy would finally get some breakfast and a coffee to try and get some pre race toilet motion going. Signs were not great when after a regular Americano, with a drop of milk, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse, meanwhile Simkiss was having what he would go on to proclaim, ‘ a perfect pre-race sh1t’. Poo jealousy wafted through the MCKEP camp like a bad smell.
Baggage drop done with 40 minutes to go, time for some warming up around one of the beautiful London parks, in London. Not even the onlookers from Buckingham Palace would stop the MCKEP pairing from dipping in and out of the bushes for one last attempt, but there was still nothing for McCarthy and there was now some real concern on his face; “I’m gonna be taking this one around with me, looks like we are in this one together.”
Whilst London did its best to completely nullify and corrupt all runners GPS data by strategically erecting large buildings to confuse even the latest of technological Gizmo’s, here at MCKEP we’re not afraid to tackle such issues head on and report the data out in a poorly extrapolated and nonsensical manner.
Having managed to avoid being tripped in the opening stampede, Simkiss finally caught up with Chris and the pair felt comfy over the opening kilometer – with its gradual incline aside the 3:15 split was perfect for a 32:30, but prompted comments of “too slow” from McCarthy. Fear set in and the pair were chasing the perceived lost time.
The pair completed their first mile virtually side by side, McCarthy in 5:11, Simkiss sitting on his shoulder a bit quicker in 5:08. McCarthy opened up on the downhill putting a 2m air gap between himself and Simkiss, passing mile 2 in 4:53 – Simkiss still lagging 2 metres behind, 11seconds adrift in 5:04.
By this point Simkiss was working hard… way too hard, with heart and lungs bouncing on the limiter. Simkiss reasoned with himself that he’d push as hard as possible to 5km, and re-assess the situation then.
As the decent turned to gradual incline, both athletes reportedly maintained a consistent effort and Simkiss sailed past McCarthy opening a notable gap, McCarthy was happy to stay steady, knowing that any increased effort to close the gap would come back to haunt him later. Mile 3 apparently completed in 5:04 for McCarthy, 4:55 for Simkiss.
GPS Splits would indicate at this point that the pair were due to go through 5km in 15:38 (McCarthy) and 15:37 (Simkiss), but this was not to be, the official 5k split of 16:21 (McC), 16:12 (Sim) showed a devastating loss of 43 and 35 seconds respectively over the final 0.1mile to the halfway mark. The game was up for Simkiss who threw in the towel psychologically at this point… despite being on course for a PB, all that came to mind was the failed sub32. McCarthy too had thrown in the towel, but that’s standard practice.
Similar 4mi splits of 5:23/5:25 ticked off before McCarthy pushed on… sick of hearing the support for this immensely popular bloke “Joe” who was obviously just behind him and receiving no end of support and applause from the spectators. As the European 10,000m Champion Jo Pavey came onto his shoulder the pair worked their way through the field past 5mi in 5:14 (5:18 for Simkiss). McCarthy was reeling in Simkiss at a fast rate of knots, surging past in a decisive move and bid for glory – Simkiss gave him a hug, said goodbye, and wished him well on his journey into the distance.
In the blink of an eye, McCarthy had closed the gap, caught Simkiss, surged past, and then slammed the brakes on. Simkiss closed in again and in an equally stupid move decided to surge past with ease, before drowning in a sea of lactic approximately 3 seconds later, McCathy re-passed – Simkiss’ game was up, and Jo “Joe” Pavey followed in pursuit of McCarthy.
6mi in 5:03 for McCarthy, and 5:14 for Simkiss, with only 0.4mi left to go in the 6.2mi race. McCarthy was now a good 40m up the road from Simkiss, with Pavey experiencing a McCarkiss sandwich. On a good day Simkiss could’ve, would’ve and should’ve closed the gap to McCarthy over the final stages – but the igniters on the Simkiss afterburner just weren’t working today and there was no kick for home.
The final GPS splits for the 0.4mi were at a pace of 5:04 & 5:05/mi for McCarthy and Simkiss, with official finish times of 32:49 and 32:56.
Simkiss’ pondered what had gone wrong, and how much his bout of killer man-flu from Thurs-Sat had affected his race versus the fact that he’d just pushed too hard after the McCarthy induced panic that a 3:15 first km was too slow. McCarthy offset Simkiss’ excuses, validating his victory with the fact he’d carried a 2kg turd in his bowel the whole way round… either way, both athletes maintain that they’re actually in sub 32 shape.
A speedy journey back to the Midlands and it wasn’t until 12 hours later when the words of the Nurse from the hospital hit McCarthy like a ton of bricks, ‘Co-Codamol will of course make you constipated’. McCarthy now focusses on trying to have a poo before the Edinbrugh half on Sunday whilst Simkiss wallows in self pity.
Thanks to runner B2731 for this video…
McCarthy Makes a guest appearance at 1:45, with Simkiss appearing momentarily as a dot in the background