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Turing Trail Relay
Sunday 16th March 2008
Alex Downie

Turing Trail Relay 2008
Alex Downie
Run in 6 stages on both banks of the Cam from Ely to Cambridge and back, this event commemorates Alan Turing. He was a keen runner who used these footpaths, and helped to break German codes during the war, and was instrumental in developing computer science in this country. Yet......may I venture the observation that probably many fewer people know his name than the names of many so-called celebrities of today.
The relay does seem to be dogged by extreme weather. In its first running last year it was blessed with a ‘crossfire hurricane’ and a gritty Fen Blow. Though not quite so bad this year, heavy overnight and morning rain meant that any potentially boggy parts of the course were well.......er, boggy. And it was windy.
Some of us who battled bravely into the boisterous winds of yesteryear reckoned we deserved an easier time of it, and opted to switch direction to take advantage of the prevailing southerlies.......poor sad poltroons!! The weather had other ideas, and Ely-bound runners found themselves knocked back by nasty northerlies.
Everyone ran their hearts out, and a big mention must be made of the old men.....C+C Old Codgers won their category. Not everyone was necessarily where they should have been at the start of their legs; no naming and shaming, except to say that I myself had to defer a call of nature so as to meet the fast-movin’ Martin K.
Stats don’t tell all ......'Tales of Brave Ulysses'......
Relays often bring out the best in us simply because we don’t want to let the team down. And to a greater or lesser degree all of us are heroes when we turn up for the team when not feeling 100%. Examples that spring to mind are:
Adam P. running the second leg of the Hereward Relay last year with a stomach upset. Also in the Hereward,
Ellen Leggate, the year before, overcoming appalling and unfamiliar conditions in the last leg to hold off a ferocious challenge and win the female team race for the Fast Girls.
So spare a thought for Dave H in this year’s Turing. 60th out of 61 on his leg, with 10min + mile times doesn’t come anywhere near the full story. What we now know is that poor ol’ Dave was violently ill just before James E [3rd on his leg] hurtled in to hand over. After several minutes, Dave got to the start and bravely agreed to run the 6 miles to Cambridge so that the rest of the team could compete. Likewise, Gerald posted a time somewhat less than his best because he was injured, yet agreed to make up numbers for his team – the Old Codgers.....did I mention that they won the over-50’s category, by the way?

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