Whilst McCarthy walked around a park somewhere ‘oop North to secure a place in the Cheshire team (report to follow seperately); Cofton Park was the venue of choice for the 2015 Warwickshire & Worcestershire County Cross Country Champs. These champs, held each year on or around the McCarkiss Elite Project dual Birthday, serve fantastically to shame those overindulging during the festive period, which unfortunately f#cks McCarthy and Simkiss over completely.
After much deliberating in the Kenilworth fraternity over spike lengths, Simkiss used the longest spikes he could find (18mm), because it’s wet and muddy, so nothing else makes sense. On arrival in Birmingham, Simkiss was glad of his spike choice as the support races were nearly finished churning the course up ready for the main event.
Congratulations must be given at this point to Paddy Roddy, who finished 3rd in support race F – apparently making him the Warwickshire U20 Champion.
With Simkiss having been off his diet and eating normally* over the festive break – Simkiss was fully carb’d up and saturated with all available supplements that have been at some point marketed as “performance improving”. Additionally the former MCKEP No1. athlete had finally managed to get a long overdue haircut, and has in recent weeks been getting back to some form of consistency in training mileage; by all accounts a good solid performance was due.
*eating normally by MCKEP standards, which in no way constitutes a normal diet compared with society or government guidelines.
The usual opening stampede saw former rivals Savery & Banks disappear off ahead (amongst a sea of others I should add), and clubmate Phil Gould start to ease away. Confident of his ‘sensible’ paced start with a 5:31 first mile – Simkiss remaining quietly confident he’d be able to reel in the positions as the race continued. Alas, with foul conditions underfoot – this slowed to a 5:48 second mile, and Gould edged progressively away as the remaining miles came in around 6:00/mi pace.
Finishing in 14th place overall (11th Warwickshire), Simkiss equalled his position from last year as a 29yr old (albeit with a weaker field this year), and was relieved to have finished his final race under “the curse of the 30yr old runner”. The MCKEP athlete already longs for the road season and fairer weather and predicts PB’s across the board in 2015 (much the same as every year then).
Importantly though – Simkiss was given the revered paper-slip ensuring a place in the County team may be available for him if the remainder of the Warwickshire team short-list become ill, injured, maimed or simply don’t fancy it, notwithstanding those who didn’t take part on Saturday and are simply better athletes and may be selected ahead of Simkiss.