The ever reliable Simkiss was the only Elite Project member
available worthy of taking part in the National 12 Stage Road Relays. Although despite being MCKEP ‘Top Dog’ at the Midlands, Simkiss was ousted from Leg 1of the Kenilworth team in favour of young gun P-roddle-doddle… The never ageing Paddy Roddy has come into some good distance running form of late, and arguably warranted his selection for leg 1.
Putting it politely, Paddy didn’t have his greatest run – spontaneously combusting on the hill and spending the next 4mi firmly stuck in the hurt locker (see photo), clocking a time of 30:40 before handing onto Phil “I hate road running more than McCarthy hates mud” Gould, who completed the shorter leg 2 and passed the baton onto the Project’s biggest road relay fan .
Without the tow of the leg 1, Simkiss was able to set off at a somewhat more sensible pace than at the Midlands’ Champs – and felt much stronger for it… catching one runner early into the leg and working well up the hill. The right hand turn at the summit saw a face full of wind as our leg 3 runner caught and promptly disposed of his second victim. The wind continued for the next few miles over a very lonely stretch past the Jubilee Stone and out towards the turnaround point at the edge of the park.
The turnaround point hinted that Simkiss was being chased down by a much thinner (and therefore faster) runner. Despite our athlete’s best efforts and protests, he was soon taken from behind. Thankfully the dangling carrot of a fading athlete ahead gave something to focus on; he was caught near the Jubilee Stone and a chase down the hill saw another athlete closed down by Keeper’s Pool and passed with a big surge through the wooded area from Thighkiss as the tanks were nearing empty.
A mediocre effort up the finishing hill (comparatively amazing by McCarthy’s standards) saw a finish time of 29:37 (or 29:38 if you’re to believe the inferior official timings)… 13 (or 12) secs ahead of his Midlands time, in arguably more worserer conditions.
Pleased with his run – Simkiss is now pondering options for a good run out somewhere next weekend – his final weekend before London where he’ll squander his current good form in exchange for a below par Marathon result.