Rugby’s premier running club was going to be out in full force at round 3 of the EMGP. The RUGBY 6. Yes, the RUGBY 6… run by RUGBY and NORTHANTS AC, including RUGBY.
At 6.30, runners from all of RUGBY and beyond started to arrive at RUGBY and the locals expected to see the return of 2016 champion Dicky Skimpiss. At 6.31, he had not arrived. As MCKEP’s only first claim sub 2.30 marathon runner, the crowd at RUGBY expected great things but word on the Run ABC website was that Sikpims had put on a bit of muscle, been fuelling up well and shooting fir a sub 30.
6.45 and Davies, the M40 MCKEP marathon record holder turned up. Having been smashed into submission, taken to school and beasted at Round 1 by Mickey Aldridge, local RUGBY runner, Davies was out to get another podium place having finished a disappointing 2nd to Aldridge… who absolutely owned that first race.
7pm and the Hermitage massive, out in full force tried to intimidate Davies.
“You up for a race then or what?”
“We now weigh 60kg, that’s why Woodward left”
Madcock, was looking mean and lean and had slimmed down for the race. Improving every round, tonight he was going for the win and ensuring that it was he… and not Aldridge who was the midlands no 1 M40 runner.
7.30pm and still no Smipkiss. Still a bit early but as the RUGBY runners lined Ashlawn road, the RUGBY team dominated the startline with photos, interviews and pre race bantz.
7.45pm… Simpkiss now a no show so Davies was the only MCKEP runner. A scene first occurring at Chester Marathon 2015 when 2 other member of the team failed to show after a team planned entry, then again at Silverstone… which was won by Mike Aldridge from Wooton, who absolultely dominated the race.
“I absolutely dominated that race”
From the gun, it was Phil Melling of RUGBY who was leading the RUGBY contingent and opened up a 30m lead in the first 40m. Closely followed by a large group of RUGBY runners, Hermitage runners, Williams, McDermott and Adcock, Dan Woodgate, Davies and some other RUGBY runners.
As in every race, if he is still in the mix at 1k Davies thinks to himself… “I can win this.” But apart from the local parkrun, this has never happened.
Unless it’s a marathon when he is leading, but as this was 6 miles, Davies was in a good position. 6th, 50m off the lead but cruising.
At the 2 mile point, Melling’s lead was cut from 50m to 49m as Adcock made a move for the front. This decisive move split the field. It broke the Hermitage runners, broke the Rugby runners from RUGBY and reduced the field to 4. Woodgate, Davies, Melling and Adcock. 3 men over 40 and 1 just over 20. Adcock was on the rivet and pushing hard to 3 miles passing the random bloke shouting out times in 16.06. Melling had now been reeling in and Woodgate looking for a change to attack. Davies was starting to slip away, now 6 seconds behind… but… inspired by the MCKEP no 1 athlete… he was planning the only negative split of the race. Downhill, with a following wind and using the #Sub2hours drafting technique, Davies closed the gap and contributed nothing to the progress of the group, now back to 4.
As the Lactic mountain approached, Woodgate attacked. Adcock tried to go… Melling was blown. Davies watched… quoting from Braveheart… “Hold… Hold…Hold…” Then launched his own attack to take the Strava KOM for the Himalayan climb and got clear of Woodgate and Adcock.
1 mile to go and Woodgate and Melling were beaten, but Adcock was not done. The now 55kg runner was floating in the wind and gaining back time on Davies. He closed 2 seconds every time a car went past and pulled him along. Davies now swearing and dying from the effort was gritting teeth and hanging on until he remembered previous races with Hermitage’s no 1 runner. Davies always wins the sprint finish. Davies backed off and saved it for the last 200m. He had done enough to take the win by 5 seconds and his first ever EMGP win and first win at a RUGBY event in RUGBY.
Of course, as the event was in RUGBY, organised by RUGBY, there was no mention in the Local Paper of RUGBY athlete, Davies as he is not a member of RUGBY.
“I’m gutted to have not won the team event too”