Recently, Chris Copus noticed that nobody seemed to have sent us a report from the London Marathon. He wondered if we’d like a report of a somewhat shorter race. Well we’ve got one.
The Cheshire Half (mile, not marathon)
“It has to be said, and I've probably already said it, the Cheshire League is good fun. It's a chance for us 'roadies' to try our hand at something different. Last year I did a couple of 3k's plus a leg of a 4x100 relay (honest).
The option of the 3000m was removed this time because I was officiating in the U15 girls shot at the time of that race. No matter, provided the boys shot (officiating again) didn't drag on too long there was always the 800m. Two laps of the track, that's all. How hard can it be?
I duly reported in 10 to 15 minutes before the start. Everybody else didn't half look fit! Joseph Crutchley and Mark Saunders were the other two Maldwynites in the race. From my point of view sympathetic applause as I entered the home straight, a distant last, was probably the best I could hope for. After a warm up that could, at best, be described as perfunctory ( a couple of stretches and a bit of jogging) we toed the line. Buoyed by the fact that it was virtually impossible to be lapped I was starting to warm to my task. And then the gun went. Blimey! They're not hanging around, are they?
By the time we hit the back straight most of them were gone. I was hanging on to the back of Mark's group and, incredibly, somebody was just behind me. Someone behind me? Crikey, the pressure's on now. I've really got to go for it. I went through 400 in about 1.24/1.25 and that seemed o k. By about 450/460 it suddenly seemed like hard work. Can I keep it up? I doubt it, but I'll try. As we headed up the back straight again Mark's group was tantalizingly close. I briefly entertained thoughts of catching them. No chance! Away they went.
I glanced at my watch as I went through 600. If I keep this going I'll 'comfortably' break 3.00, my minimum requirement. I hit the home straight into a strong wind. It must have looked messy, it felt messy. The Maldwyn contingent in the stand were screaming encouragement and I was working hard. " Relax, you idiot" -easier said than done when you're that far outside your comfort zone. I felt myself drifting wide, leaving a gap on the inside. I shut the door as soon as I could and somehow crossed the line, flailing arms and legs. I turned to note that the guy on my shoulder was actually about 80 metres adrift. Oh well, never mind.
The winner had crossed the line in 2.07, Joseph 2.13.5 and Mark 2.31.6. I was 13th of 14 in 2.49.5 and I was delighted. What a blast! Although athletics is very much an individual sport here at Maldwyn we seem to have generated a great team ethos. Road, cross country or track, it doesn't seem to matter. The support from other club members is always second to none. The support I enjoyed during that race was absolutely fantastic.
My word, I was stiff the next day!”
- Chris Copus
We’d certainly echo Chris’ sentiments about the team spirit at Maldwyn. It’s just a shame no one stopped cheering him on long enough to take a photo!
Read further Runners Tales :-
"Three Amigos on Tour"
"The Adoring Public"
"I've got to be honest, I'm not a dog person"
"A funny thing happened on the way to the Finish"