I had a dream yesterday.
Firstly, I dreamt that I couldn't sleep on my day off, went to the Hotel at 0730 and took the recycling to Nobles Park where I saw Murray Lambden training.
Then I went to Andreas where only five of us had turned up last year for the Manx 20k Championship and in my dream, there were Robbie Callister, Sean Hands, Peter Kaneen, Marie Jackson, Andy Green, Vinnie Lynch, Dave Mackey, Bethany Clague, Alan Kinvig, Ian Wakely, a good scutch of juniors and the ghost of a former top international racewalker who retired ages ago.
As the race got underway, Peter pretty quickly established a lead, then after moaning for a couple of laps about his thighs hurting from his first race walking training session in nearly a year, the now talking ghost broke away from me to try and close the gap on the front man.
Behind us, were Sean Hands, a fast starting Andy Green, Robbie Callister, Vinny Lynch, Marie Jackson and Dave Mackey.
Eventually, the ghost drifted back towards me and indeed, Peter Kaneen had stopped extending his lead and gradually came nearer to us. Disappointingly, Peter stopped after 10k, it is great to have a target in front to try and reel in but the ghost and I were still locked together.
In fact, despite insisting he would definitely 'blow up' during the race and me thinking that he was trying extremely hard just to keep me company, the dream started to turn into a nightmare as the other worldly figure began to push to escape me. Although, I tried at first to stay with him, I decided to let him go and over laps 10 and 11, he managed to forge a lead of some 25m.
Fortunately, this became one of those dreams where you can influence the outcome and with Ken & Theresa(THE COMMENT) Hands cheering me on, Les Brown handing out the drinks and Jock Waddington supplying us with sponges, at the end of the penultimate lap, I started to catch the vision in front and by the back straight, I had overtaken him. Now it was a matter of concentrating, trying to relax while at the same time pushing for all I was worth, scared that he would find some of his former speed to overhaul me in the last few hundred metres. Luckily, I hung on to win a shield that had spent the last 20 years or so ensconced in various Partington attics.
Bethany Clague 9th overall won the ladies race after Marie Jackson pulled out. Andy Green really struggled in the heat but rallied to finish well after Vinny who walked a big P.B. but a minute and a half in front of Dave Mackey. Ian Wakely was next and Allan Kinvig worked very hard bringing up the rear of what was a small but high quality field.
Well I don't seem to have woken up yet but I have posted this blog in case somebody pinches me and I find out that I didn't finish ahead of Steve Partington, Sean Hands and Robbie Callister in the same race in the same day.
Thanks to Elizabeth and Gordon Corran, Judy Morrey, Allan Callow, Dougie Corkill, Paul Jackson, Les Brown, Jock Waddington and Bridget Kaneen for all their efforts on our behalf.
I think I'll dream about the Parish Walk next.