Well, didn't Sally do well? What an amazing achievement. Sal' you should be extremely proud of yourself for having the dogged determination to persevere, not just on Sunday but throughout this incredible ride. You showed true guts and courage to run 18 miles on the hottest day of the year so far. If it would have been me the hardest bit would be running past Harve de Parc knowing you were going to retrace your steps. But you coped marvelously the whole way. Big well done and big respect.
So, Chantelle dropped me at The Royal Yacht dead on 1030 after the team photocall, as arranged. Sally was standing on a stone bench punching the air and singing the Rocky theme tune at the top of her voice. It was very emotional, tough grown men openly weeping at the sight of 'Sly' Minty Gravett beating her chest and screaming "YO, CHARLIE, I LOVE YOU", at the top of her voice . OK, ok, I made all that up. Actually she looked a bit nervous as she changed out of her team vest (far too big - she was turning around in it!) preferring the all black garb of a Ninja warrior (except for pink stretch shoe laces (ooh, look a gay Ninja!)).
Charlie Boy drove us out to St Ouens and, after a quick loo visit, we set off at 10:58. Sal' walked for a few hundred yards and then we set off running with a slight, chilled sea breeze accompanying us. I have to say I was surprised that we didn't walk a lot more throughout the day. I would estimate that, for the whole 18 miles we walked about three quarters of a mile or a mile tops. Very impressive. On race day I would suggest a predetermined strategy of run walking (i.e.. However good you feel, do the walks - that's how you'll get through the last 8 miles). But PT1 is best placed to sit down with you, Sal', to work that out as she has been with you the whole way.
So - and Sal' you know the distances better than me so correct where necessary - we ran for nearly 4 mile without stopping until we got to the hill up to Corbiere. The splits up to 5 miles were very impressive. Sally was in charge of pace and I made sure I didn't push her to go faster. There was an inevitable payback for the early pace later in the run but I think that was a good thing to experience. It's all part of the training as was experiencing the heat as the day wore on (good to see you taking on lots of fluids Sal').
Hitting the railway track was a good omen as the first third of the run was nearly over. Different terrain and a lovely run down to St Aubin (see how these names just trip off my tongue now?!). Sally took time out every now and again to stretch her toes out and, at Quennevais Sports Centre she dispatched me off to fill up her water bottle. When I caught her up she was eating the bark off a giant conifer she had single handedly felled. Small children hid behind their mothers' skirts as Sally growled manically at them, eyes flaming, nostrils flared. I was scared - you girls hadn't warned me this might happen.
We had reported into Chantelle and arranged to meet her and Bradley between West Park and somewhere else (I forget) They were going to run the last 8/9 miles with us. Running along from St Aubin's we kept passing people who knew Sally and it was very lifting when they shouted words of encouragement. We hit the beach pretty quickly and then Chantelle and Bradley joined us which gave us both a boost (well, it certainly gave me a boost!). Near the upturned frigate we saw Lisa who was running 10 miles. She was going to see us later for the final stages. Then our merry band was increased by one as Annette joined us - Sally plus PTs 1,2 and 3. Bradley 'Steven Speilberg' Rose then took on the role of official photographer and we set off for the final third.
Not much to say about the last third really - except it was tough for Sal. The heat was taking it's toll and this part of the route was grim with narrow paths and too much traffic going too fast. We turned around at St Clements and made our way back 3 miles to Harve De Parc with Lisa joining us for the last bit. When we got to the pool we still had half a mile to go so we carried on and then returned triumphant to the applause of the Le Guilchers, Wendy, Dee, Sylvia and Nigel.
Sally you did amazingly well. You said you don't know how you are going to do the extra 8 miles. You will do it, you can do it. Work out your race strategy with Annette and stick to it. It's all good Sal - all good.
Below are the splits.
Time - 4 hours 57 minutes
Distance - 18 miles
Average minutes per mile overall - 16:32