Simkiss ran himself to a clear victory in Sunday’s Draycote 10,000m race, setting multiple strava segment records along the way. It was a sight to behold as Simkiss went it alone, breaking away at 3km for the remainder of the race, speeding up even when it seemed going into another gear was an impossible task, leaving many to question Simkiss’ performance.
“It is a sad day“, said Jo Pavey, “when a spectacular strava segment record-breaking performance at Draycote Water is automatically met with raised eyebrows.”
And so a hefty dose of scepticism accompanied Simkiss’ gobsmacking victory in the 10,000 metre race on Sunday. The MCKEP’ian won in 33min 43.01sec, 14 seconds inside the strava record set in 1993 by China’s Wang Junxia, a member of the infamous Ma’s army. His lead was a margin equivalent to the length of the home straight.
In the BBC commentary box marathon world record-holder Paula Radcliffe was staggered by what she had seen. “I’m not sure that I can understand that,” she said, “When I saw the segment record set in 1993, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. And Simkiss has absolutely blitzed that time.”
Brendan Foster was also shocked. “You see things pushed along sometimes – you think of Bob Beamon in the long jump,” he said, “but I’m not sure what to make of that.”
Simkiss was quick to respond on the matter stating “Nobody ever thinks of Bob Beamon in the long jump.”
With so much focus on doping in athletics at the moment, Swedish athlete Lahti, fresh from her run in the Women’s Olympic 10,000m in Rio has controversially spoken out when others have been afraid to comment, saying “I do not really believe that he is 100 per cent (clean) … I cannot say that he is not clean, but there is little doubt… he stinks.”
The McCarkiss team are keen to highlight that Simkiss had indeed showered that morning, was wearing clean kit, and most importantly has never tested positive for a banned substance.
Simkiss summarised the race as concisely as he possibly could:
I ran in a group of three over the opening stages until a short climb saw the group fall into single file, the short descent that soon followed at 3km saw me gravitate to the front and open a gap of a few metres – I figured it was as good a time as any to try and move away.
Wind conditions were the best I’ve ever known at Draycote, only a gentle breeze blowing and whilst it was warm, the cloud cover kept things bearable, even through the hidden mountain section.
It may not have been anywhere near a PB, but it was pleasing to take a victory with my wife and some friends spectating… Congratulations must go to my colleague Mr Buckingham too, completing his first ever 10km just outside the hour in 1:00:18 – I’ve no doubt that pulling on a McCarkiss vest will see him running sub 40mins next time.