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Race Reports [Reports Index]

Turing Trail Relay
Sunday 18th March 2007
Alex Downie

TURING TRAIL RELAY 2007 Ė its inaugural year.
Alan Turing was a 2:43 marathoner who ran the paths between Cambridge and Ely during his time at Kings College. A brilliant mathematician, he went on to work as a code-breaker in WW2 and had a significant influence over the development of computer science in the UK.
Organised by Ely Runners, the 6 stage, 35 mile course begins and ends in Ely, with the first 3 legs on the west banks of the river and the return legs, by and large, on the opposite side.
The Cambridge-bound competitors headed into near gale-force winds, whilst the opposite was true for the Ely-bound bounders. Stages 1 and 2 probably had it toughest of all because much of their trail was on super-exposed embankments. Also, the wind had a nasty habit of blowing the runnerís right leg around the other, almost willing the poor soul to trip him/herself up and plunge into the river. Very stressful! Add in a good strong Fen Blow, and
participants in stages 1,2,5 and 6 had a gritty time of it indeed.
Nevertheless, C+C teams achieved great glory. The Flyers (Chris Flood, Ben Baldelli, Steve Thoday, Pietro, Giulio and Giacomo) finished 3rd overall. Special mention here for Pietro who was the fastest human in the tournament (71 teamsx6runners = 426), clocking an amazing 5 min 34.4 sec/mile average. The Fast Girls (Becky Flood, Fiona Murphy, Karin, Meinou, Kim Masson and Jen Ives) continued their Hereward Relay success with another win here, and 12th place overall. The Flagers (Flaggers? Flagellators?) romped in just one place ahead of those fast women in 11th(Vince Freeman, Alex Downie, Simon Bowen, Colin, Glyn Smith and Lars.)
As it was so INCREDIBLY windy on this race, there follows a very useful runnersí version of the Beaufort Wind Scale:-
Force 0: No wind. Still feels like a headwind due to friction as your body slices impressively through the air.
Force 1: Slight breeze. Nowhere near enough wind to cool you down on a hot day. Perspiration pours out more or less everywhere pretty well unchecked, Iím afraid.
Force 2: Slightly breezier breeze. Though it may dry some sweat, itís not nearly enough, and regrettably youíre still horribly clammy.
Force 3: Moderate breeze. Better, but now you get exasperated by hair blowing in your eyes, especially if youíve got the sort of floppy Hugh Grant hairstyle sported by Paul D or David M.
Force 4: Strong breeze. Oh dear, now weíre in headwind territory, and it is ALWAYS a headwind.
Force 5: Undesirably strong breeze. Dust, rain etc blows into your eyes. Most peopleís hairstyles all over the place by now.
Force 6: Horribly strong breeze. Twigs blow into your eyes and any loose clothing flaps around painfully.
Force 7: Sub gale force. It has been reliably reported that your legs can be blown towards each other, and trip you up. Branches may crash down and destroy more than just a hairstyle.
Force 8: Gale force. Branches frequently fly around. Not possible to make any progress into the wind, except negative, so donít try.
Force 9: Gale force plus. Mikeís and Andyís hairstyles destroyed.

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