Great South Run Sunday 21th October 2018
The day promised much as the weather looked perfect with little or no wind and no rain forecast. The assembled Green Army gathered at our specially allocated hut opposite the D-Day Museum Car Park on one of the old bowling greens. Kev Budd had already produced a spreadsheet with as many Baffins runners as we could find out were running and get their predicted times and waves.
The hut was really good as the area was marshalled and there were portaloos just for the select few clubs. Roisin Barnard was set up with her table to do pre-race massage and selling teas, coffees and cakes for charity.
We were hopeful of beating last year's 135 runners when we also included those who had not registered under BFC as they had signed up before joining us or registered under their other clubs.
So, we gathered on the road and for once I actually participated in the whole warm-up, much of which resembled Emma Jolley's Monday Night Pilates just speeded up a bit. Emma herself had the honour of starting earlier with the Elite Women due to her exceptional times and performances over the previous 12 months. It was unusual, but not surprising in the circumstances to see her the previous day looking a bit nervous.
My main recollections of the race were of getting a slow start and being 40 seconds behind my hoped-for 7 minute mile pace after 2 miles, then not being able to make it up after that. There were many who were at the start of the Orange Wave who were going to finish a good 30 minutes after me but I was wasting energy trying to get past them. Note to self: get nearer to the front next year! The crowds were all along the route past Clarence Pier, the Cathedral and the Dockyard. I was trying to keep Kelvin Howard in my sights but he was just easing away all the time. The part I don't like is Anglesey Road and Winston Churchill Avenue although this was a good first opportunity to see other faster runners coming back and then on my return to the Terraces, see more Baffineers coming the other way. I remember trying to shout out to all our runners, giving encouragement. I then spied a green vest way in the distance in front and at first I wondered who it could be. I realised it was Louise Griffin one of our newer members. I tried to catch her for 3 miles and only just managed it by the Canoe Lake, where she had an emergency pit stop. I explained that usually there was a water shower at the Canoe Lake by Dolphin Court but sadly this was missing this year when we could have done with it. It was becoming apparent that the weather was warmer than expected and my choice of vest was wise. Even so, memories of the Brighton Marathon in 2017 came back as I hurriedly grabbed water at both stations and threw most of it over my head. This was an instinctive act as I certainly had not planned to stop because I had adequate coconut water in my bottle (not to be poured over my head!). I then caught Rob Scammell whose foot injury was playing up badly and then saw our awesome supporters at the water station by the Tenth Hole. By then I was catching Kelvin and we ran together down Henderson Road, complete with the householders out in their front gardens, offering drinks and jelly beans and such like.
My final words to Kelvin as we turned onto the seafront at Eastney were' Let's go for it Kelvin' and......... he did, whereas my pace seemed to stay exactly the same! I was then catching him very slowly but he glanced round at the 15k marker and, on seeing this responded again. I had a good sprint finish, captured, for once on the Channel 5 coverage. Well, I thought I was sprinting but the video evidence suggests otherwise.
I felt strangely OK at the end, not out of breath or aching and by the time we had gone through the funnel and collected medals, T-shirts and goodie bags, around 10-15 minutes must have passed. We therefore would have missed cheering in quite a few of our team-mates. Trying to negotiate your way back round the start to the finishing straight is quite difficult with such huge numbers so the legendary Baffins Fit Club support was not easy to give to other finishers. It is much easier to do this at smaller events such as we did at the Hayling 10 Miler on 4th November. Also standing around still for long periods is not always wise after a race and you need to stretch or keep moving.
.Some of us gathered back at the hut and grabbed a coffee or tea and cake, where Roisin was now performing post-race massages, then we adjourned to a Cocktail Bar in Palmerston Road for Denise's birthday drinks. However they had lost the keys so weren't open and we went to Bar 69 just a bit further up Palmerston Road where the owner gave us a warm welcome. It was great to see the pork and beef rolls being served by Giuseppe, former proprietor of The Pizza House in Hilsea whom I am sure is remembered by many. By then we were joined by some of the later finishers from White and Green Waves.
After a quick drink there some dispersed and later in the evening some 30 or so Baffins members descended on the Staggeringly Good Brewery Tap in Rodney Road, near Fratton Park's North Stand. I had been meaning to go there for 2 years and it did not disappoint.
Now, to the performances in the actual GSR. Once again superb is all I can really say. Many, many PBs. Those we know about were from David Poole, Simon Boreham, Daniel Walton, Gary Cook (to add to his recent 5k and 10k PBs), Louise Griffin, Matt McLean, Paul Griffin, Jason Smith, Kevin Rowsell, Richard Stevens, Matt Hedley, Martin Coumbe, Bella Sanderson, Dave Oliver, Claire Baker, Colin Southwell, Jon Olsen, Steve Cross, Paul Norris, Rich Harris, Sarina Collis, Fiona Forbes, Nikki Tout, Becca Niles, Ash Mayhead, Kev Budd, Loisa Hayward, Alex Millham, Cat Underwood. Rhian Rudkin, Janice Wellstead, Laura Burns, David Hatton, Lou Whitehead, Anthony Wood, Laura Hyman, Tina Matthews, Amy Hedley, Colette Brown, Lisa Duke, Lee Collier- Williams, Maria Rowsell, Katie Rowsell (all 3 Rowsells), Ed Skinner, Jenny Skinner, Alison Southwell, Suzanne Anastasi Bristow, Kevin Friery and Andrea Breen. Now, one of the reasons for so many PBs is that aside from the Hayling 10, there are not many other local 10 milers but that should not detract from some really great times, some from our newer members and some from those who have been running for 10 years and more.
Please see Kev Budd's spreadsheet I have included to have a full look at the times and, of course, advise if anything is wrong.
|NAME||ESTIMATED TIME (mins)||ACTUAL TIME (mins)||PB|
|DAVID JAMES POOLE||65||63.48||Y|
|JULIE ALLAN FULLER||80||82.49|
|TERRIE ANN BROWN||93||98.00|
|LEE COLLIER WILLIAMS||100||106.42||Y|
|SUZANNE BRISTOW ANASTASI||105||115.36||Y|