The all-conquering Musketeers triumphed again at another challenging race when they scooped prizes at the Eller race.
The ten-mile race in SE Cornwall is recognised as one of the toughest ten-mile races in the SW and therefore, only attracts a relatively small field.
Obviously, when the going gets tough, the tough get going - and set the standards.
Three trophies are now added to the Musketeers packed silverware cabinet - won by Sharon S (the beginners'/improvers' coaching guru) and Rodney and Guy in their respective age categories.
The race is famous for its bad weather where rain and wind add to the challenge. Wind is the biggest foe because the route goes onto the high point of the Rame Head Peninsular and along exposed Whitsand Bay.
The race starts at Milbrook and runs along the estuary, the only truly flat part of the course, before climbing steadily for more than a mile and then mostly climbs until a steep descent round Cawsand before another long climb.
For once this race was blessed with fair weather and a moderate wind. Recent rain had, however, made the down-hills on the latter three miles of the race quite testing on the knees.
Runners who know the course would have been prepared for the last killer hill which should really be walked up as it is very steep and is very close to the finish - for which reserves of energy should be saved for a final burst over the finishing line.
Sharon did very well considering she is sacrificing her training to coach her protÃ©gÃ©s - now they will be looking up to her even more star-struck.
Rodney seems to defy age and is putting his past injuries behind him. One his tips is to take a week off - resisting the temptation to continue to race beyond the body's limits. He says the rest do him the world of good and this result proves that. It has also been a revelation to him and me that these so-called tough races seem to bring
best out of some of us - with times that compare very favourably with the Plymouth Half. If only we could replicate the grit and determination on that race.
Kev is also doing well, proving that being more selective with races is the best policy with him also. Having previously taken his dogs on races, this time Chris A left his dogs Bill and Ben with partner Tania for a walk and was able to post another success on his growing list of races without the hindrance of an extra eight legs.
The Musketeers are well established on the current racing scene and now the future looks bright with increasing membership and the stamp of approval for Sharon's coaching and our training from the athletics authorities.
By Guy Boswell