Tuesday, 26 March 2013

An outing with some real athletes

So this weekend was the 12 stage road relay race. I was willing roped into running with Brighton Phoenix's team. Only ever have done a couple of cross country races this would be my first proper athletics event. We met at Withdean stadium at 8.30 to all bundle into a mini bus to drive up to Milton Keynes. Everyone
was in good spirits getting ready for a day of racing. As well as a day of standing around in the cold waiting for our leg to start.

Josh our team captain was planning the running order asking everyone how they were feeling analysing peoples times figuring out a best and worst case serious  Trying to predict our position based on other teams that would be turning up. Things were looking goo for Phoenix, we had a strong side and everyone was game.

The weather in Milton Keynes hadn't been perfect but the race director has posted on the event website the previous day that despite the snow the race was still going ahead. We checked the site and looked for updated before we set off and things were still all go. It was not until 20 minutes outside of Milton Keynes that we got message that the race had been cancelled due to the weather as the course was not safe enough to race on. An emergency stop at the nearest service station was required. Our plan was in shattered. After sitting in a mini bus for the best part of an hour and half we were bouncing off the walls ready to race!

We were left with only one option. We were there to run, so dammit we were going to run! Everyone donned their warm running gear, we found a place to run and we got ready. It was at this point that I truly felt under prepared. I was expecting to do a little warm up run my leg and get changed back into warm clothing as quickly as possible! A long run in the cold and snow was not what I had planed. Everyone else layered up with hats, gloves and leggings. And there was me, vest top lyrca shorts I run in and an everyday jumper. Well I wasn't going to let the triathlon side of the club down, it was time to apply to rule 5 and try and keep up!

So even though the race got cancelled it was a good experience spending time with people who don't constantly smell of chlorine and there was almost no talks about bike. All in all a strange but enjoyable none the less, even though it was a long way to go just for a long run.

A lot of questions have been asked about why it took the race got cancelled at such a late time of the day. The 12 stage is a big race with teams from all of driving for many hours to get there on time. When more information is posted I will update. Cancelling a race is always a hard decision to make and will also anger and dissapoint people. It was the general consensus from us that the decision should have been made a lot earlier as the weather conditions didn't change much from early morning to the time that the race was cancelled. However until a full statement is released we will not know 100% the reason why it was cancelled and why they cancelled it so late. Hard decisions have to be made but making sure that people don't injur themselves is a good reason, we will just have to see what they say, and they are going to do in future if this happens again, as I would like to take part next year, as long as the weather allows us!

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