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Cotswold Way Relay - 30th June 2012

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The race in the eyes of Dave Smeath: ‘Here we go. Right, I’m sure they’ll have opened that first gate as there will be a right bottle neck. What? 80 people trying to get through a kissing gate 50 meters from the start? That’s not too clever. Who’s dog is that? Is he going to run with us the whole way? Right, better enjoy the first half a mile or so cos there isn’t much flat stuff ahead. Ooh, bit muddy, not sure why I am bothering to skip around the puddles, I’ll be wading straight through it in a bit! Ah, so that’s where I went wrong when I did the recce, it was the SECOND right! Ok, take it steady now, big stretch of uphill and not much to be gained by giving it wellie at this stage. Where is Usher? I would have thought he would be ahead of me by now?Ah, there he goes, I guess he will pull away now. Oh, something wrong with his shoe? I’ll just keep going. Good. At the top of the first big hill now, mostly downhill until Winchcombe. How many ahead? 1, 2, 3, 4 …oh stuff it, I can’t realy tell, must be late teens I think. BLOODY SHEEP! Can’t you move? Or should that be can’t EWE move?! Ha ha. Dear me, that is dire… ‘I can’t stand this indecision, married with a lack of vision, Everybody wants to rule the world…‘Hmmm, Tear for Fears as motivational running music? Not sure? Terrific view here thouugh. Be nice to stop and admire it! Wow, that old guy more or less hurdled that fence? Shall I give it a go? No, climb over, you know your hamstrings will thank you. Right, long downhill stretch now, see if I can catch the guy in front. CHRIST! Nearly fell on me arse! I’m catching him though, and the next guy is not too far either. Wow, I think I have a knack for running downhill! That’s 4 guys overtaken. I’m sure they’ll overtake me afterwards but what the hell! Right, not too far from Winchcombe now, just through a few fields and down the path way and I’ll be on the road. Bloody hell! How slippery is this path? Think I’ll run through the crops, at least I can stand up there. Usain Bolt doesn’t have to put up with this I’m telling you! Right, on the road into Winchcombe, just behind Jeremy Mower from Glos, he’s on good form so I’m doing alright. This guy from Great Western Runners is on my tail though. Ah, there’s Driskell, with camera. Shall I do some comedy goose stepping? No, just concentrate on running you berk! Ah, water and jelly babies, the food of kings! Past half way now, not far behind Jeremy. Could do without this headwind.What’s this?! GWR guy is slip streaming me! That’s poor show old chap! I’ll weave across the road a bit just to let him know I know… Streuth, I don’t remember that hill being as long as that when I did the recce! God, this is gonna hurt! I can see a couple of guys ahead are walking so keep plodding away, you may catch them. Past a guy from Tewkesbury. ‘Keep going?’he says. Nice of you to say so, but you should listen to your own advice! Nearly at the top of the hill. And the reward? God, another hill up to Belas Knap. GRW guy still here though, he’s tracking me all the way. Too early to put on a spurt to try and break him, I’ll just keep going and hope he gives up the battle. Through a couple of fields and down through the woods, steep downhill. WOOOAAAH, who put that gate there? And a double S bend! GWR guy, you just won’t give up will you? Right, coming up to Postlip Hall, now, if I put a spurt on down this hill, I can get a big enough lead so that he will have to open the gates himself rather than come in behind me. Can’t hear his footsteps, I’ll have a quick glance back. Hmmm, only 20m or so. God, I feel knackered now. If he comes back at me I’m toast. Oh, knackers, just what I didn’t need two gates to CLIMB over. Wish I was a bit more athletic. I’m whacked. If he wants it, he can have it. Why should I suffer? Don’t be soft. He probably feels just as bad. Just hang in there. He’s alongside me now. If I can just hang on for another 3 or 4 minutes, maybe I can outsprint…..oh, he’s gone! Better have another look back to see if there’s anyone else? No. PHEW! Right, that means I can just amble home. Hmmm, I suppose I better not go too slow, just imagine if that makes a difference at the end of the day? THERE’S CLEEVE GOLF CLUB! Shall I put my arms up? No, you haven’t won, just play it cool! Yes, I will have a bottle of water thanks. And later on today, it will be something stronger…..’

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