Time for a rest after all this racing.well sort of. A trip to the island of Mauritius saw me take part in the annual Ferney Trail. This race, now in its 8th year, is one of the largest sporting events in the country and around 2,500 athletes compete in 4 different race distances, on what can only be described as one of the most beautiful courses imaginable; a tropical reserve, lush and verdant, with views of the sea in the background – 50% Indiana Jones, 50% Jurassic Park! In terms of getting whipped (and eaten alive!), it was the athletes that suffered over the most challenging course I’ve ever run.
I took part in the most popular event, which was the 10k, with over 1,200 competitors, and I usually cover this distance in around 33 minutes, but due to the uber-tough course, it took me 45 minutes, easily my slowest ever time! However, fewer than 40 athletes managed to crack the hour!
A lightning start saw me move from 10th to around 5th through the first kilometre. Pushing through further saw me clinch the lead at about 2k, which was the perfect time, since it was just before the course became super steep and turned into a pure test of aerobic fitness. Thereafter, the trail steps and rock paths began, but I managed to forge a good lead of over a minute, which I kept all the way to a winning finish.
This was undoubtedly the toughest 10k I’ve ever run, and probably the single biggest run victory in my career, so I was ecstatic at the end. I got the overall and age group victories, and received my finest race prize to date, including a night in a £1,000 a night resort, which I managed to use before returning home to England!
Slightly less glamorous, though no less exacting races, have included the British Masters mile in Cardiff, where I managed to gain my 4th British Masters title, and another V40 Gold (5th overall) at the Essex AAA’s 10 Mile County Championships.
The TORQ Running Team is sponsored by the following and without them we would not be able to do what we do, thank you: