Magnificent 7, Saltash, 17 Jul 2011


A magnificent lucky 13 Musketeers gave a great account of themselves at the Magnificent7 - the Tamar Trotters' seven-mile race round Saltash country roads.

Running conditions were good, despite the rain, being cool and with little wind. Being a Cornish Grand Prix event this was a big event with 411 finishers.

Our team included Chris Andrews 151st in 55.11 min, pace 7.52min permile, Neil Williams 172 in 56 min, pace 8, Dave 204 58.2min, pace 8.19, Bryan207 58.3, pace 8.21, Sharon S 218,59.22, pace 8.28, Ian Luya 240, 1h 45sec, pace 8.4, Kev 251, 1.01, pace 8.48,Michael 297 1.05 pace 9.18, Nicole 315 1.07.54, pace 9.41, Louise 325, 1.08.36, pace 9.47, Kate H 360,1.11.41, pace10.14, and Caroline 364, 1.12.27 pace10.20.

I was not sure what was 'magnificent' about this race. Unless it was the two cruel up-hills, one within the first mile of the start and the finish. If you were not warmed up before the start then the first up-hill would have forced you to walk. It was certainly a long hill and spread out the field considerably as they all tried to recover their breaths and strength for the next six miles.

The down hills were also tricky due to the wet surface and gravel adding to the feeling of danger of falling. There is a definite knack to running down hill at speed and I have not mastered it yet.

Some Musketeers will be familiar with the route because it follows some of theSaltash Half marathon earlier in the year - not that it makes is easier.Sometimes it is better not knowing what is coming.

Butit does not matter what you know about the so-called Chip Shop Hill which not only feels like it gets steeper as it gets to the top, it IS. However, all the Musketeer training has made us all stronger and able to recover quicker from extremes like mega steep hill climbs.

Having collected our excellent finishers' running shirts and eaten our Kit Kats we kept dry inside the Saltash Rugby Clubhouse and waited for the prize giving which was well worth the wait when Maggie scooped an age prize, that piano of hers' will be groaning under the weight of the prizes. And she will be turning into a right wino with the accompanying bottles.

By Guy