Simkiss has taken a barrage of abuse over the past months, mainly as a result of achieving nothing in the second half of 2014, but most recently due to his dieting attempts, whilst other MCKEP athletes berate Simkiss’ approach to training and nutrition, our former number 1 continues to try and shake of the ‘fat runner’ stigma associated with the Elite Project. His closest rival at the Project McCarthy was heard saying:
A runner not eating carbs – what a f#cking ridiculous idea. I’ve told him he’s doing it all wrong and I was right… he’s been doing it for several weeks now and he STILL hasn’t broken all his PB’s like I have… did I mention all those PB’s I broke this year?
Remembering Simkiss was training at 5:09 pace for this event last year, a downhill first mile passed in a pedestrian 5:11 in 2014. Siggers disappeared off into the distance ahead and the MCKEP athlete was running alongside FOTP Stu Hopkins and Men’s Captain Stephen Page through the apparently recently resurfaced churned up chalky/muddy path. Mile 2 passed in 5:21 as athletes settled into a rythym, until they reached ‘the cone’… a feature synonymous with high standard running events in the Midlands, including the national road relays held at Sutton Park – nothing screams ‘elite running’ like a faded orange cone in the middle of a path.
Today, Simkiss was not feeling any immediate benefit from his 36hr carb binge, and the exertion required to get going after the switchback point was taking a lot out of him. The newly tarmac’ed and widened stretch of the course was marginally less sludgy than previous years, and not really any wider – especially on the poorly drained section which was half covered with standing water (or ‘puddles’ as they’re more commonly known). Hopkins and Simkiss were starting to pick athletes off and the MCKEP official athlete, fighting for his right to renewed membership started to edge ahead and away, clocking a third mile of 5:14 as he approached the end of lap 1.
5km passed in 16:20 – Poor. The past three visits to Telford have taught our athlete that the downhill lap 1 is worth around 30seconds versus lap 2 – if you negative split this race – you started too slow.
The slight climb(s) at the start of lap 2 saw a repeat of last week’s XC as Simkiss rapidly lost speed, and Hopkins came sailing past. Thankfully the climbs were short and Simkiss was able to respond again once on the flat, clocking consecutive miles of 5:24, 5:22, 5:22 bringing him gradually away from Hopkins and unchallenged on the run in to the finish… a final 0.2 @ 5:05/mi saw Simkiss come in safely under the meaningless 33:20 target set out by McCarthy, in a time of 33:07.
Attention now turns back to base building and weight loss for Simkiss, whilst McCarthy scours ebay for a replacement hip and discount cortisone shots with a short shelf life.