Following a MCKEP clean sweep at Corby it was swiftly on to Banbury for the crew in the next leg of the series. McCarthy and Jordan were keen to repeat the previous week’s result, and with Simkiss having wimped off Corby, ol’ thighs was also itching to get back in the mix. Adcock would be absent, claiming to be running a 3k track race the next day.
For Jordan, disastrous races at Silverstone and Rugby had already left him well behind his MCKEP team mates in the EMGP series, and several resignation letters had been drafted and then deleted and redrafted in increasingly humble prose. However, with a second place at Corby there was now a glimmer of hope that he could begin to restore some dignity, and if nothing else perhaps escape being the butt of MCKEP jokes about being shit for at least a day or two.
As the MCKEP trio stood at the start of the Banbury 5 in a seemingly random location in a housing estate, the game of spotting genuinely fast runners (as opposed to us pretenders) was in full swing, and Jordan joked to McCarthy that Siggers (whose rapid early miles derailed the MCKEP train in Rugby, causing long delays in Jordan’s scheduled arrival time) would most likely roll up at the last minute. The words had scarcely left Jordan’s foolish mouth when Warwickshire’s no.1 marathon man jogged round the corner to take his place moments before the off. Thoughts of the three of them cheesing it evaporated far quicker than a McCarthy fart.
The start itself was a relatively casual affair with MCKEP following a couple of Rugby mavericks who took on the (very early) lead. By the time the first mile ticked round in 5:17 MCKEP and Siggers were away from the Rugby boys, and with the recent stormy Edinburgh Marathon perhaps still lingering, Siggers dropped off slightly in the undulations that followed. Another 2 miles passed with bizarre consistency in 5:17 and 5:18, and as the route passed through its most testing incline at 3 miles, McCarthy chucked in the towel, getting a rare view (thus far in the series) of Jordan’s back.
All Photos courtesy of Barry Cornelius – www.OxonRaces.com
Having seen Simkiss seek out and destroy opponents in the last 400m of races with ruthless efficiency Jordan knew that he didn’t want to be relying on his own diesel chugger to do anything in a sprint finish, and following a generous declaration from Rimkiss that Jordan could “have it” a gap formed before the 4 mile mark.
As someone who can even get lost in a track race Jordan has a severe dislike of being at the front on his own, and was so slightly perturbed to see the race lead car performing a U-turn with half a mile to go. Rather like when a sat-nav tells you to go the wrong way down the M6, common sense luckily prevailed and with only a half dozen scared looks behind, Jordan nervously crossed the line to claim a win, with Simkiss and McCarthy making up a second consecutive 1,2,3 for the now re-christened “Endurance Project”.
I can’t believe I’m back to being project whipping boy again. Oh well at least I can take comfort from the fact that my remorseless teasing and jibing of Jordan has finally inspired him to run a bit better.
– Chris McCarthy
In a gesture that I copied from Lance Armstrong with Pantini on the Ventoux my role model in terms of sportsmanship, I ‘let’ Jordan take the win today as I felt it would be good for his fragile confidence. Oh and I was knackered.
– Rich Simkiss
Screw you guys I’m off to run round a track 7 ½ times. Wahhhey
– Matt Adcock
Jordan now looks forward (with pre-root canal enthusiasm) to a Half Ironman at the weekend which he accidentally entered months ago and then forgot to do any training for (other than running). Simkiss weighs up whether to run Two Castles on Sunday as well as the next instalment of the EMGP in Harborough on Tuesday, and McCarthy continues to look forward to his weekend of excessive beer drinking in a few weeks time.