Tuesday, 4 December 2012


 "The reason we race isn't so much to beat each other but to be with each other.
Christopher McDougall, “Born To Run”
 The quote above is another saved from those sent daily by Runners World US.   It highlights the social aspect of attending races; taking as read that racing involves meeting challenges of distance and time goals,  or being competitive against old and new rivals.
 I think now when I race  shoulder to shoulder in an event a bond is established based on a common goal  of completing the distance in the fastest time  and not so much as beating that person; mainly because the people I'm racing shoulder to shoulder with is younger than me.  It's very often a case of encouraging them so that we can keep going together.  Unless they are listening to music of course! 
 Friendships born of competition  have been maintained in my case throughout the decades. But of course less so as the years pass by,  for obvious reasons.  You might say not many are daft enough to be racing having started in the 1963!

One exception is a person I mention frequently on this blog, because he so often pushes me into second place, is Wesham's ALAN HUDSON.  I'm not sure exactly when Alan started racing but certainly by '68 when he ran 39th(35.49) in the Northern Cross Country behind my 9th (33.05)  
 We ran an easy mile together after Sunday's race and we concluded that rather than my life of sin and debauchery holding me back nowadays, it is more like that he is still knocking out 2 speed sessions weekly and running 50 miles per week often.
 As we finished our post race jog,  it was great to chat to JOHN WALSHE, significantly wearing a Ballycotton 10 race t-shirt.   I wrote yesterday my "love affair" with the 10 mile distance over the years.  Well John is well and truly married to this distance and rarely strays for a "bit on the side".
 He made a comment on yesterday's blog which I will publish here and I think this says it all....

Terry, It was great to meet you briefly yesterday. Although in the same age-category as yourself, I was a bit further back in recording 77:47 – although it still gave me fifth M60! I, too, have a love affair with the 10-mile distance and this was my 100th British ‘ten’, despite living in Ireland. Since my first in 1986 (at nearby Horwich) I’ve made an average of four or five visits a year seeking out the races at this classic distance. As you say, many of these are sadly no longer with us but I’m glad to have run such races as Michelin, Wimbledon and Cockermouth before they disappeared from the scene. My interest in the distance led to the formation of the Ballycotton ‘10’ in my home village, a race that many British clubs and individuals have been to. I can echo what you say about the declining standards – in 1993, when Ballycotton had just over 1,000 finishers, exactly 200 broke the hour. This year, with in excess of 2,600 finishers, only 95 did so. Anyway, long live the on GUYS 10 MILE 2012 REVIEW  

  John was down in the results as Eastleigh RC (Southampton) but runs for also for East Cork.  John has seen his BALLYCOTTON 10 race grow in number and status throughout the years.  31 runners in 1978, 82 in 1979, 150 in 1980.  Continuing to grow in number......848 in 1984....1000 in 1993.....1500 in 1999.
 Nowadays, the entry in capped to 3000 and with no shows etc around 2000 toe the line.
  Alan Hudson said that his club Wesham would be going over by coach for next year's event.   Another case of a race acting as a means of maintaining and perhaps establishing new relations and friendships within their own club.
 So if you are reading this, are training regularly but haven't raced for a while just what ......and who you might be missing!  


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