Sunday morning, sun is shining without a cloud in the sky and we’re heading off to the fifth Cornwall Grand Prix race of 2017 at Helston, An Res Hellys, writes Hannah Cutlan.
Ten miles of multi terrain covering road, trail and the glorious beach (of which we all loved).
Parking up with an hour to spare and a short walk to the race HQ we bumped into Mell Rowe’s smiley face, who informed James and I where all the purple and golds were meeting. Watching the rainbow of colours collect their numbers and pins, the first stop for me…Toilet!
As always, time flew by and that hour soon disappeared before hearing those famous words “TEAM PHOTO” and off we went to meet Terry.
With that, we all made our way to the start line for the race briefing.
A disheartened groan emerged with the news that this would be the last An Res Hellys but standing next to my buddy Mell Maskell our usual running chat (involving food on my part) was replaced with anxious looks, mentally preparing ourselves for the tough 10 miles ahead.
The siren went off and the feeling of being a trapped sardine suddenly dispersed as we ran into the first mile entering Penrose NT.
The first three/four miles through the trails with many up and downs, I was getting used to this sudden change of temperature. We came out of the sheltered woodland to be greeted by the beautiful Penrose House, a site that never grows old. Running along the front of the house, to then be over looking the sparkling sea (at this point looked good enough for a dip) was a bittersweet view, knowing what was about to come..THE BEACH!
Heading over the hill, followed by a sharp left, the beach was right in front of me. It felt like a wind tunnel, the sand was very soft underfoot making it tough to run on as I’m sure others felt too. Feeling relived leaving the beach the sound of four miles going off on my watch, next up was the five mile hill or at least it felt that way.
Mile five approached running the cliff path to Gunwalloe passing the Chyvarloe Farm, I knew I was nearly half way and the next couple of miles consisted of country roads with its fair share of ups and downs, trying to take advantage of the down hills/flats.
A sharp left again after passing mile seven, I could see the Culdrose Airfield in the distance. These last three miles certainly did feel like a drag though, as mile eight clocked by the strong winds against me I soon reached mile nine and breathed a sigh of relief knowing that the down hill finish was fast approaching.
Turning into a small housing estate lane the downhill feeling soon kicked in, attempting to keep my dignity at the same time as controlling my tired legs seemed very difficult.
Home straight, passing the Old Cattle Market and duck pond, I could see a purple figure (in the shape of my husband, James) shouting support that I am nearly finished. The rest of the supporters clapping me in along the way as well I came running into the field and could see the finish line, a feeling we all love. I passed through the line and as always, I was welcomed with jelly legs and a smiling husband.
Banana and a bottle of water with a nice woolly hat for our cold summers. We headed back and watched our fellow members finishing their race, all putting in 100 per cent effort.
Then the food thought kicked in..Where is my lovely mother in law, with my homemade pasty!