Milton Keynes 10k; The climax of the 2014 East Midlands Grand Prix Series – and Simkiss was struggling before he started. The relentless nature of the EMGP’s weekly races combined with the arguably foolish decision to compete in the Warwickshire Road Race League on Saturday has taking its toll on Simkiss as signs of cumulative fatigue begin to show. In the words of Simkiss Snr:
You’re racing too much Boy.
A warm-up protocol worthy of elite athletes saw Simkiss join the start line feeling ready for action – that is until the big budget event actually got underway when a guy in a baggy T-Shirt with virtually no warning dropped his arm and said “Go”. A big charge over the playing fields was a shock to the system for Simkiss and he was working overtime to stay in touch with the lead athletes – not a good sign.. although thankfully Simkiss settled in after a mile, and the violent self combustion of the first mile settled to a more manageable rolling boil of lactic acid.
A large group (by local race standards) was heading up the race, notably Harvey Speed of Godiva (showing his usual ‘no fear’ attitude – setting a hard pace at the front until his legs invariably begin to shut down), Michael Aldridge (V40, rudely dominating the ‘Overall Series Standings’ with his ability to run a bit quicker than everyone else), and Andrew Savery (first race of the EMGP 2014 series for him). The group was completed by a trio of Kenilworth Runners; Simkiss, Siggers, and Andrew – any other runners in the group do not deserve a mention.
Savery, or “Beautiful Savery” as he’s known within the boundaries of the Warwickshire running scene – was making his first appearance in the series, having won (some say stolen) the EMGP 2013 title from MCKEP’s own Chris McCarthy, and appeared to be deploying his usual tactic of sitting in, sitting in, sitting in, and sitting in – hoping to make a move in the closing stages of the race. Bystanders observed that Savery was deploying ‘flappy paddle hand’ with both hands – usually a sign of desperation as runners try to swim their way through the air. Pioneered by Irina Mikitenko, and adopted some years ago by MCKEP athletes; Simkiss (an advocate of the classic flappy paddle), and McCarthy adding a subtle twist to produce ‘the claw’. Was this a sign of a struggle from Savery? Or has this trait simply not been noticed before? Has the flawless one developed a flaw?
5km came and went, and then all hell broke loose. Well it didn’t… but the group broke up. Aldridge trotted off at the front as Simkiss had already to fall out the back. Savery chased Aldridge with Siggers in tow, and Paul Andrew followed behind. Speed also fell out the back and it became a battle between Simkiss and Speed as to who could blow up the least. Simkiss won that battle as Speed dropped back further.
As Aldridge opened a gap at the front, Savery was lost without a shoulder to sit on – and as Paul Andrew progressively closed the gap on Siggers (3rd) and passed him, Savery too began to fall back towards the grasp of Andrew – but as the race hit the final 500m, lead Kenilworth Runner Andrew had nothing in the tank to catch 2nd place Savery.
Simkiss dawdle’d home in a mediocre 5th place – disappointed with his position, but satisfied with his time of 33:01 a time nearly identical to McCarthy’s 2013 effort and showing a massive improvement on his time last year of 36:25 (ignoring the fact Simkiss was injured last year).
If you’d asked me what time I was hoping for tonight – sub 33:30 would be the expectation – anything sub 33 would’ve been perfect, so I’m satisfied with the time, just not the position.
Attention now turns to 2 weeks of recovery and recuperation leading up to the Northbrook 10k, where Simkiss vows to make amends for his last two non-podium EMGP performances and to stop being sh#t. McCarthy’s going on holiday.