Daily archives: January 15, 2013

January Jaunt – 13/01/2013

The weather turned obligingly cold, sunny and dry for once for the January Jaunt 10km.

Musketeers squad of aces Johnny, Donna, Nicole, Mark P, Guy, Chris W, Vic, Eroy, Bryan and Louise K took on what is traditionally the first race of the year for many.

First Musketeer was Eroy, well ahead of his colleagues and looking very strong after an injury lay-off.

The race is one of the few 10km races in Plymouth and is considered by most coaches to be the basis of longer distance training, preparing you for the Plymouth Half Marathons, for instance. 10KMs are excellent in giving you speed and stamina.

The January Jaunt is well organised by the Round Table and includes the climb through Saltram grounds that Plymouth Half veterans are familiar with and a trail section along the river and return. Very little of it is flat and includes a variety of surfaces, so is excellent for an intro to running on multi-terrain and topography. It is also a great circuit for training during daylight.

By Guy

Westward Cross Country League – Westward Ho! – 13/01/2013

Only two more legs of the Westward league Cross Country left and the excitement is building!

The Musketeers ladies' team is lying fourth after Westward Ho! while Bovey Tracey and Plymouth remain in the next two months.

The Westward Ho! course is the flattest and most exposed to any weather, being on the coast. But the weather was kind and windless and sunny and mild.

However, previous rain had ruled out a flooded section of the course, which meant runners had to do more laps of the remaining leg. The men had to run 5 laps for 5 miles and the women 3 miles.

The uneven grassy course included several flooded and muddy ditches which needed careful leaping or clambering.

What should have been the easiest of races turned out to be the most dramatic before it even started with Neil W and Baz D pulling out, Neil for illness and Baz because he could not open a car to get changed. And Sarah A hurt her ankle hurrying to the start, but ran despite the pain, following Caroline W and Kate. She had to be helped to the car after heroically completing the painful run and sat with her leg on the dashboard.

The diminished men's team, without its fastest runner in Baz and fast performer Neil, managed a good team effort with Guy, Stan K-the-weatherman, Dave M and Steve M (another heroic injured casualty) finishing in that order. Dave is now in top five for his advanced age group. Many thanks from the men to the vociferous and abusive support from the resting ladies, it was appreciated.

Of course Stan could not be left off the dramatics, having briefly left a shoe in the mud and threatened to throw up on the driver in the car on the way to the race. The two children - Baz and Stan - had to be constantly distracted from squabbling in the back seat on the long trip home, but at least Stan wasn't sick.

Despite the brave efforts of the men we are all relying on the star performers of the ladies team to make this travelling circus worthwhile, having also run in Newquay, Redruth and St Austell. At least Bovey Tracey on 9th February, and Plymouth - 17th March, are a lot nearer and the children will not have to sit together next time.

By Guy

Torrington Christmas Caper – 23/12/2012

Three lone Musketeers travelled al the way across the moor to Torrington for a race two days before Christmas.

Our hardy three had already conquered some of the toughest multi-terrain races in Devon and were not to be intimidated by the build up given to the Torrington Christmas Caper.

It might have won race of the year in 2011, but was no match for the Bicton Blister, or Cockington Caper for instance.

If anything it was flatter than most off-road races on offer, but of course that is not the whole story, with a monsoon year adding to the mix.

At some where between 9 and ten miles this was a muddy affair with the slippery and puddly uneven terrain meaning a cautious approach at all times was essential.

Also important was keeping an eye out on the multitude of festive characters one encountered en-route, with Father and Mother Christmases outnumbering super heroes and fairies.

Musketeers acquitted themselves proudly out of a field of 215 with Guy B 44th in 1h 13min, Craig F 108th in 1h 23m, and Mark P 120th in 1h 28m.

For the record the winner finished in 56 min. The prizes and goody bag were substantial and imaginative. All finishers received a Xmas pud and clotted cream. Winners received bottles of bubbly or hampers.

It is an ideal event for preparing for two weeks of over eating and drinking and would be good to see a few more Musketeers up for the challenge this Christmas.

By Guy

Cockington Caper – 08/12/2012

An amazing squad of 22 Musketeers voluntarily put themselves through the physical and mental torture of the Cockington Caper, near Torquay.

Only 7.5 miles, but probably the hardest race of its distance and certainly the slipperiest due to the mud and narrow paths and wet tree routes.

Off-road shoes with chunky toothy grip are essential to confident progress.

Congratulations therefore, to Muskies Stan K, Neil W, Dave M, Steve M, - all in super hero fancy dress except for Dave alias Shaun the sheep, Mark P, Darren D, Jane H (panto cat), Nicole B, Lucy S, Johnny K (super yellow man), Kate H, Emily S (superhero girl), Sam G (pussy cat girl), Donna B (panto kitten), Guy B, Bryan K, Louise K, Kev W, Doug L, Sarah A, Mark W, and Caroline W.

This is a must for next year for those who missed out and tends to be run by many as a fun run, though it is still tough even run slowly. The super heroes were hampered by their poor vision - some super characteristic!

The prizes are well worth running for. The winners even have a choice, while for merely taking part in this affordable event you get Xmas cake or pudding.

By Guy