Not gonna lie lads (readers) but I’m buzzing. What an event and what a result! Yes, I was beaten in my leg, but my time was quick enough to contribute to the win – in these races that’s all that matters!
I’ve always got some sort of complaint with my running, but this was a real excuse. At the start of the week, I got quite a bad cold, a cold I know, but a bad one at that. Unfortunately, the worst day of it coincided with my job start (Tuesday). By the day of the relay I was on the mend but you know when you’ve got that ill, lack of energy feeling – ye that’s what I had.
The Cosmeston Relays is a pretty big event, I think our team (San Domenico) entered about 30 runners. I did turn up thinking it’d be a bit of a parkrun type thing, but it was more like a Sussex League in terms of the number of clubs that turned up.
So at this point, my nerves were going a bit. Was this a mistake coming? Maybe I should’ve just stayed at home and had some cough syrup. Then Ron tells me that he’s switched the teams around and I’m in one that “should be winning.”
Dan and Andy put in two storming performances to start off with and I was next up to receive the baton. I had to push past a few people in the waiting pen as Phil gestured for me to get to the front. There was no time for any thoughts, just take the handover and go.
As previously mentioned there was a pretty decent crowd, the adrenaline was pumping so my first 500 metres were way too fast. I then took a left and just thought shit; I’m gonna mess this race up for everyone now.
I wasn’t too clued up on the route either, luckily there were people still on their second leg to overtake. The fact that the others were relying on me gave me the extra motivation that I needed. My form was probably awful, I wasn’t running, I was just aggressively pushing forward like a man who’s trying to catch the last bus home.
So somehow my first two kilometres were under 3:50, a pace I’d be happy with in any race. The course consisted of a small lap and a big lap, so I ran past the crowd twice. As the first runner, the support I got was amazing – I think the last time I experienced that was when I came on as a sub during the Cardiff schools final. As well as the San Dom crowd (shout out to all you lot) I was being pushed on by spectators and runners of other clubs because I was first. I think that was the one time I thought about my form; people were expecting me to be good so I need to look the part! Chest up, forefoot landing and so on.
Then we come onto the fourth kilometre. Man oh man. My cold reminded me it was there and I was sputtering like mad. Form out the window and I was probably heel striking all bent over. My pace dropped off massively at this point. Luckily I managed to pick it up in the fourth kilometre as I wove back up a well-walked gravel path.
With about 200 metres to go I was taken by this tall guy in a Pontyclun vest. Had I messed things up?
Luckily I hadn’t, with Alistair sorting out the last leg meaning our team won by 31 seconds. When he came in there were rumblings that he was the first one in, and fortunately, that was true. At the time I was pleased but the scale of it didn’t fully kick in immediately. Maybe it did went I went up to collect my trophy and bottle of wine.
Overall there were three victories for San Domenico. We were the senior male winners, masters men (45-54) winners and masters women (35-44) winners.
As I said on my insta, I got kicked out of Spoons afterwards for not having my ID on me, but nothing could really taint my evening. Winning the Cosmeston Relay’s probably up there with my best ever sporting memories and all that’s left to do know is defend the title next year!