Bilbao race report

Pre-race – some gentle running in the specified ‘athletes’ warm up area. Try to ignore the fact that most of the girls’ (definitely girls!) warm up pace was quicker than our race pace.  Do a few strides and hope no-one noticed.

After declaring our team present and correct, it was time to expose flesh, face the photographers and eye up, with a mixture of awe and fascination, the other runners.  Just before the gun went off we were quite literally herded into our pens.  A lamb (or maybe mutton) to the slaughter….

The course – 1 short loop, followed by 3 laps approx 2km each

A brief summary of the race as I remember

  • Short loop – run hard, soak in the atmosphere, run harder
  • Lap 1- run hard, enjoy the support, even manage a half-smile, run hard, keep pushing
  • Lap 2 – run hard, appreciate the support ++, try to keep pushing
  • Lap 3 – aren’t we there yet?, try (and fail) to push more when our wonderful support roared even louder than before, just keep running if the legs allow, beg for the finish

Obviously the rest of team might have a very different perspective on it.  This is how I would report their runs.

Les Croups ladies – giving it their all

  • Katie – mixing it with some über-legged athletes
  • Maria – overcoming pre-race nerves to do herself justice, keeping very strong to the end
  • Jen –  true grit and determination to get round and finish - I heard from reliable sources that she was definitely only running one leg
  • Liz – a tough run, but receiving plenty of truly well earned cheers all the way

Overall an amazing experience and very proud to have had the opportunity to wear a Croups vest at a team event of this nature. Well done team!! Enjoyable?  Mmm.  Well definitely earnt the post-race celebrations, and thankfully our team captain let us make the most of those! Thanks Phil and thanks to the groupies for their support during the race and company after. We are definitely still the best club in the world…



Gwent League 4 Brecon

Mens race (Sat 13.02.2009 - 14.20 kick off)

Right, lets get this thread started!

Weather - Dry, cold, cloudy with a slight breeze.
Course - Firm with a few heavier sections. Mainly flat with only one real uphill and downhill. (3 laps)
Distance - 9.7K (I think it was shorter than this though)

Arrive at the venue feeling pretty good to be fair, have been banging the miles lately but sessions have been going well so quite confident. Jogged a mile or so supporting the ladies, particularly Katie and Maria who are currently flying!! Looked like the course would suit me as you could get a decent rhythm.

At the start, the field looked at bit thin but usual suspects were there. Gun goes and Phil and Mark take off. I settle down around 800m in and feel good. Started picking off the fast starters including Pete Coles. By the end of the first lap the field was quite spread out. Phil (currently flying in sessions) had pulled away from Mark and Mark was very slowly coming back to me. Dukes was fairly close behind so had to keep that gap as he is a strong finisher. Matt Collins (Cardiff AC) then strolled past (taking it easy to start obviously) and fancied a chat, I politely told him to f' off....Things stayed the same until half way around the last lap where I managed to catch Mark. Feeling ok decided to test him, didn't work, he stuck with me, a bit of cat and mouse, and then pulled away by a couple of seconds in the last 400m. Phil was about 30 secs ahead and Nick had not managed to close the gap behind (got him on the xc at last!), Mark clenched his fist at the end after a great race between us. Will have you Blaise my boy......

I think we placed well as a team. The other Cardiff team who wear blue should take note....

I'm not sure what everyone else's positions were but all seemed to steam in behind pretty quick.

One more to go 'thank god' then we can back back on the road. BRING ON THE SUMMER.

Seriously, it was a enjoyable day (shame the bluebirds lost) and finished off well when one of the San Dom girls came over with free cake. I never say no to free cake as a few on here know.

I think I have just bored myself with this report however...........Back to work (where's the coffee)

Peace out dudes..



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