Monday, 19 September 2011

The Tour of Britain

Last Thursday the Tour of Britain cycling race was in Devon and part of the stage was only about 15 miles north of Torquay, having got into cycling in a big way over the last few months I had to go and have a look. Luckily (or unlucky) the nearest point to Torquay was a category 1 climb from Bovey Tracey up to Haytor, 6km of some pretty tough climbing, it was a really good cycle and at the top there were some really big crowds.

One of the more enthusiastic members of the crowd
As we all waited for the cyclists to come through the atmosphere slowly built as more police motorbikes than I've seen in my life went through clearing the road followed by some of the team cars then in the distance we could see the helicopter meaning the cyclists weren't far away. The cyclists were really shifting considering the gradient of the climb with some looking as though they were finding it harder than others. I managed to see all the big contenders including Mark Cavendish and the gold jersey.

The Gold Jersey (Leading rider in the tour of Britain)
After all the cyclists had gone through along with the broom wagon there was mass exodus by all the cyclists that had come up to watch. I took a scenic route back through Dartmoor back to Torquay.

Up close and personnal with the Tour of Britain cyclists
My training is progressing just about as well as I could have hoped for and on Saturday morning I met with my good friend Adharanand Finn. This was the first time I have met Finn on English soil as we met out in Iten. Finn moved out there about the same time as I when I first went out and we met at a cross country race in Eldoret. Finns reason for being out in Iten was that he was/is writing a book called "Running with the Kenyans" (which you can pre-order on Amazon) I can't wait for the book to come out as in some ways it mirrors the experiences I had whilst living out in Kenya so to relive it through someone Else's eyes will be brilliant.

Finn out in Iten proudly displaying his "Iten Town Harriers" racing vest

Monday, 12 September 2011

Jogging Along

It's been a while since I last posted and I am now based down in Torquay as my injuries seem to have cleared up and my training is progressing quite well. I love it down here for running although the wind isn't much fun at the moment but I guess that would be the same wherever I was based in the country.

Haven't been up to that much over the past month but I did spend a day at the Notting Hill Carnival with my "fresh from Amsterdam" friend Mark. It was a good day out with a good atmosphere although I probably won't go again.

Notting Hill Carnival
There were some great GB performances at the recent World Championships, I was really pleased to see Hannah England win the silver medal in the 1500m. I've known Hannah since she was 14 or 15 and feel she was unlucky not to make the GB team for the last Worlds and Olympics, but a brilliant performance and a definite chance of medalling next year on home soil. Another superb performance that didn't get much notice was Dave Webb in the marathon, gaining a top 20 finish which counts as an Olympic A standard, pretty much guaranteeing his place on the GB team for next years Olympics. I have also known Webby for many years, living with him while we were at Uni in Birmingham. Webby was one of those runners who was never the best as a youngster but through perserverance, hard work and some smart training has turned himself into one of the top distance runners in the UK, a real inspiration for runners like myself.

Webby and his wife Sian after this years London Marathon
I paid a visit to my Kenyan palls in London this weekend just gone and even managed to keep with them for a 40 minute run through the streets of London. Some good reults for the Run-Fast team, Edwin retained his title at the Bristol Half Marathon with another Run-Fast athlete Allan in second. We had both the winners in the Robin Hood Half Marathon as well as the Cardiff 10km where one of our new guys Milton in his first race outside Kenya ran a blistering 27.44, winning by nearly two minutes!!

Hopefully I can stay injury free and get in some good consistent training and look at possibly racing some time in October.