In this weeks episode of EMGP:
McCarthy loses out on a series prize due to the inconvenience of real life responsibilities.
Adcock eats a burger, AND ice cream.
Simkiss reaches boiling point.
Jordan gets lost.
As Simkiss set off on his 1hr journey to Milton Keynes the thermometer read a cool 31 degrees Celsius – Jordan was already sat waiting in the car park fuming that he wasn’t first to arrive. By the time Simkiss arrived the mercury had wavered between 30-32’C… or for those working in Fahrenheit… it was unbelievably fackin’ hot… Sweat poured out of the McCarkiss duo on the gentlest of warm-ups, and the pair returned to the cars to don the black vests of MCKEP and take on some last minute fluids whilst discussing race tactics and pacing strategy.
As the race field gathered on the start line, Simkiss knew he only needed a top 6 finish to guarantee the series win, and Jordan needed to beat his nearest rival,
Ukrainian Latvian athlete Andrejs Blakunovs of Sphinx to consolidate third spot.
Race underway, Simkiss started steady avoiding getting caught up in the opening stampede which was moving marginally faster than him. Jordan joined the tail end of the opening lead group and by 1km Simkiss began to panic having realised he wasn’t in the top 6. Madcock waited with the MCKEP film crew at 2km as the race field plodded past in a truly non-elite fashion with Jordan sat in 5th place, Simkiss trailing a few seconds behind in 7th. Simkiss closed the gap and the pair ran together past 4km in 5th/6th position with 7th place sat on their shoulder. By this point Simkiss’ thermostat was stuck shut and he was overheating, Jordan wasn’t coping much better and both would’ve been happy to call it a day – the drinks station couldn’t come soon enough.
Soon enough, the drink station came, 2 volunteers handing out drinks to a field of 487 in 30+ degree heat was perhaps a slight underestimation of manpower required. Jordan was the unfortunate one sat at the back of the group of 3, and was left waiting for a water bottle despite squeals of desperation as he approached… this lost him 15m and thwarted his chances of a 5th place finish. Simkiss emptied the 500ml bottle over his head, which provided momentary relief from the heat, before he began grumbling to himself about the weight of his sodden clothes. The man in a tri suit (formerly known as 7th place) sailed off into the distance, leaving Simkiss in 6th, and Jordan surging hard to close the gap in 7th.
Not content with the difficulties of running in intense heat and losing ground at the drinks station, Jordan proceeded to lose all sense of direction and decided to stop and wait for his nearest series competitor to catch up and confirm the appropriate direction of travel. After much discussion, the pair agreed that the arrow pointing left would most likely meant a left hand turn and began on their way once more. The closing kilometers saw the pace dropping for all athletes as the heat took its toll. Fortunately Jordan was able to regain his lead over Blakunovs and finish in 7th position, smashing the 35min barrier with a time of 34:59, Simkiss having finished 6th in 34:31.
Having demolished a burger and ice cream at a local public house, “Three Scoop” Adcock joined Jordan and Simkiss at Race HQ for the race and overall series prize giving… after 307 age group prizes had been dished out, Simkiss was awarded his overall series prize. Adcock then flip flopped his way onto the podium to take his second prize, and another ‘new for 2015’ EMGP series rule saw Jordan share 3rd spot with his Latvian rival, despite beating him in every race he entered.
The East Midlands Grand Prix Series has been a great success for this newly formed club, a wilful disregard for convention has been met with some bitterness, but has attracted unprecedented interest from like minded athletes as well as those simply intrigued by the presence of the new kids on the block.