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Tour-ain de France

Les courant de la liberte 10Km

3 Hillingdon A C athletes joined by Ex pats went to Caen in Normandy (France) over the weekend. This annual 10k event seems to get better each year with lots of hospitality tents and goodies and oh a nice Tee shirt. The Sunday morning road race event is to celebrate the liberation of France by the allied forces. Reports Stevan Dokic.

The Friday night crossing ‘was a night to remember’ We spent more time living on the ceiling than in our bunk beds! By the time we arrived in Le Harve we didn’t bother with breakfast.

Saturday was spent touring the all beaches and reflecting what it was like in those early days of forming and holding a base on the beach front. This left us with a little time to pre-train for the race in the sunny saturday evening.

Sunday morning was a typical English summer – heavy clouds waiting for us to leave the hotel at 7 am. The clouds greeted and soaked us as we headed for the coaches. As we headed for the race our coach seemed to get lost maybe he was a German driver!!! It was our own expat Tony Jackson who saved the day by redirecting the coach to the correct course. The driver was a Frenchman he reversed back onto the motorway! A loud cheer and appaulse for Tony and the driver as we arrived. It was soon stopped as we departed into the pouring rain. We spent most our time under trees with only plastic bags for protection. With over 3 thousand runners and joggers it was difficult for us to get near the front (not that I wanted to) but Dean Clarke was up for it.

The race was a well organised with lots of support and marshals. Dean who had a late start being off the front managed to work his way to the front and by 2k was behind the leaders. The consistent rain was quite refreshing and the race seemed to go quickly. Maybe with so many runners it took your mind off the 10k. This was the general consensus.

Dean was our first home in 6th and 2nd v35 place 33.40, Tony was 14th and 2nd v45 35.06 Ricard Jenkin was 106th in 42.35 Stefan Dokic was 280th in 44.30 and Lee Benjamin I think he’s still running!

It was still raining as we were handed our goodies and Dean his prize money!

But it wasn’t all glory the injuries were high as in all battles. As a percentage we had more casualties than in 1944. But our spirit was good as we vowed to be back!