Hey up muggles (that’s non Tourist types this week) just got back from another evening of running enjoyment in the form of Race 2 on The Tour of Merseyside… Oh and have i mentioned I have a poorly back?
Any way today we all ventured to the seaside, to the quaint hamlet of Thurstaston to complete a 5.9 mile multi terrain course. I have to admit I have been a bit giddy about this one all day as its my most fave of the tour. Usually I would of said that Hale was but as we have a different venue for fancy dress day this one has took the lead for me. To be honest I don’t know why its my fave as running along the beach is not easy and Thursataston isn’t exactly like the smooth sands of the Costa Blanca; Its full of rocks and boulders that make staying on year feet a real challenge.
I set off for Thurstaston just after 4pm hoping to arrive just after 5pm as I don’t like being rushed. The weather forecast had been pretty much any ones guess; It was predicted to be scorching sunshine with torrential rain, thunderstorms and tornados thrown in for good measure. As I headed along the East Lancashire Road the chap on the radio said that it was bucketing it down in the Pool and almost as soon as he cracked on to his next topic of Nigel Farage pulling off the biggest con since Ivan Luckin selling London Bridge to the Yanks it started to rain . Bloody hell it was like someone had opened the flood gates. First thoughts,,, “Hmmmm,,, same as last year then?”. However by the time I reached the Mersey Tunnel it had stopped and Mr Sunshine was showing his face.
I arrived at Thurstaston, parked up my Mr Bean Car and headed over to the start line. There weren’t so many people here yet, just Alan and the core crew of volunteer marshals, Graham the camera man (this is a generic name for people I don’t know the name of) and Colin who I used to call Graham. Oh yes Birthday girl Chelle was there too so I gave her a birthday hug 😉.
As the time moved on more and more tourists arrived along with our guest runners for todays race and the atmosphere was buzzing. Everyone was in high spirits. Colin took the opportunity to schmooze amongst us elite runners to capture moments for this years video. He did interview me, well twice to be honest bust as you know I’m quite shy and talk bollox at the best of times so I would be amazed to see my offering in the mix.
Oh almost forgot have I mention I have a poorly back. To be honest I don’t burdening people with my ailments so I tend not to talk about it. But safe to say it was sore. So much so I had to give my arse a rub with deep freeze.
I’m waffling……. Reet then 7pm saw the start of the race Jenny Clauge was in the lead for the ladies and Anthony Taylor was just ahead of Terry Forest by 6 seconds so it was anyones race. With a honk of Alans hooter we where off. Slightly different from last year we ran down the road instead of the trail. I was slip sliding about in my trailies and took it very cautiously down the slip way on to the beach. As soon as we got on to the beach I started to wonder what exactly it was that i liked about running on the beach. This was hard going and as I said earlier Thurstaston is full of boulders and large pebbles. You sometimes see a lengthy patch of what you think is good for running on and head for it only to realise you where better off where you where running before. The beach stretch was just under two miles long and would spread the field out quite a lot but the encouragement from other tourists and the speckies on the cliffs spurred us on no end. I was managing to keep up with Ultan thinking I was doing Epic and then Mike Metcalfe ran past me as if I was standing still 😉
Once off the beach we headed down a road which would lead us to the Steps of Hell and it was nice to see a friendly face, Lainey snapping away taking photos and shouting words of encouragement; Thanks mi dear. I was getting pretty carried away by know and even managed to have the craik with Eric and Ultan as I got passed but that would be short lived.
Into the woods we went and there they where………… The Steps of Hell…. my running now went from running to walking hahahahahahah and yes Ultan and Eric went past hahahahahahah. Up and up we went then along a bit then up and up and up again. At the top we where greeted by Tom who told us we where doing great and to be careful on the way down. The decent was a bit treacherous so I took my time….. Have I mentioned I have a poorly back? well I thought if I fell over here it was gunna be a stretcher jobbie. As luck would have it I got to the bottom without any mishaps so result 😉 As we made our way back to the trail it was nice to see other tourists making there way to the Steps and good luck gestures where swapped, mind you if I’d of seen Bhav I would of given her a swift two fingers something 😉
First things first as we entered the trail, water stop but not to drink I slung it all over my face to get some of the sweat off. Only about 2 miles to go now, I was feeling great and even managing to claw back some places. I did shout to Ultan that if I caught him up his pants where coming down which usually encourages people to run faster, however, Ultan started slowing ???? As we approached the last half mile we where created by familiar faces, Sarah and Hayley from WRC thanks ladies you support so far has been top drawer and has certainly kept us going. We ran past the finish line then looped round over the bridge and then back on ourselves for a sprint finish or fast mince in my case.
Wow what a brilliant race,,,, loved it 😉 Terry managed to take the lead from Anthony so the race is on.
We all hung round for a bit to congratulate each other and get our tour buffs off of Pauls missus, eat Annas cake and show sympathy for my poorly back and then it was time to head home again.
Gotta say a quick mention to two guys,,,, Steve ‘Carols’ Wright and Jim Little… before Sunday the furthest either of these guys had ran was 10k and now they are on the Tour. Mad fools or gladiators I’ll let you decide.
So what will tomorrow bring ………. 10 miles along the Ralla, Personally my least favourite, but hey ho after that its all gravy init 😉