Sunday 17th September 2017

By Ciaran Murphy

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On Friday morning 8 members of Shaef Shifters met in Heathrow Airport for a trip to Denmark for the Copenhagen Half Marathon Tough Mudder which took place on the Sunday morning.

As all 8 shifters put in excellent performances on the day, it is clear that we as a club can learn a lot from the meticulous preparation and attention to detail that enabled all 8 to toe the line in tip top condition and raring to go.

So what did we learn?

Firstly Hydration. This should ideally start two days before the race. Water and beer are both fine but the key ingredient here is called Hoegaarden. This isotonic drink conveniently comes in a 10kg glass so you can combine your hydration with a weights session.

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Secondly it is clear that the less sleep you get the better. Apart from the obvious, staying out drinking late, you could always try arranging a midnight fireworks display the night before the race. Or you could ask a fellow club member to keep you awake by snoring all night. When it comes to the accommodation, there is no limit to the amount of people you can fit in a small room. Stack them high, that’s the secret. This helps the lack of sleep.

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On the Saturday after a parkrun, collecting race numbers and much needed food our thoughts turned to fellow club member Aaron Chai who was running in the Oslo Marathon. Even though we were in a different country, tech wizard Ian Fullen was able to give us regular updates on Aaron’s progress. This was done by accessing the satellites and the cloud. With each update came more good news and Aaron finished in a brilliant time of 3.04.54 securing a good for age for the Boston and London Marathons. The satellites and clouds were used again to check on Julian Diamond who also had a great race in the Richmond 10k finishing in a time of 41.40 on a wiggly course. Well done Aaron and Julian.

Inspired by these performances the Copenhagen 8 all put in excellent performances. Predictably Ian Fullen was first home with a super snake Hollywood time of 75.48 WoW.

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Next home was Thomas Cassidy in 83.26. After witnessing Mr Lobo demolishing a Hoegaarden two nights earlier, Thomas had decided to put his beer mile career temporarily on hold to concentrate on half marathon / marathon distances. This clearly paid off as he beat his time from the previous year. A delighted Cassidy later told Copenhagen TV that this was down to the meticulous preparation and attention to detail.

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Soon after Thomas crossed the finish line the satellites and clouds had clearly had enough and one of the clouds exploded. The result was biblical. Thunder, lightening, hail rain and locusts. But especially rain. The remaining 6 shifters battled on bravely, cursing Fullen for breaking the cloud.

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Rob Jones 90.30, Nick Rowe 90.33 and Ciaran Murphy 90.03 all crossed the finish in quick succession, all 3 pleased with their times.

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They were followed by Chris Boylett in 1.38.34 and Ravi and Darren both recovering from injury who ran 1.41.06 and 1.41.05 . Well done to all.

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More good news later followed when it was announced that Corporal Rob Jones is to receive the highest Shaef award possible for helping a fallen comerade injured in the field. Mr Jones we salute you. The presentation will be made in Bushy Park on a later date.

One more point, when choosing your next half marathon always choose one with a downhill finish. After 20k of hard running the last thing you need is to run upstream for the last km. Far better downstream with the tide behind you.

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