Busman’s Holiday: The Joe Shellhorn Falesia 5k

Race Date Tuesday 14 March 2023

A small group targeting an April marathon spent a week at training camp in the sunny Algarve recently. Topping out at 95 miles for the stars and 85 miles for the older ones, this was the chance to train like a professional with twice a day training, ice baths (swimming pool) and time to stretch properly. Other activities included sleeping, aqua jogging and arch strengthening exercises involving marbles. The coach’s first instruction was not to get injured and thankfully everyone flew home in one piece.

The trip also involved a neat little 5k race on the second day organised by FB Tours and sponsored by Mike Gratton’s 2:09 Tours. On a not flat three lap course but with fine weather, the race attracts athletes warm weather training in the area although not as many ‘continental’ athletes as in past years. Run on open roads, there are marshals at all the important places and little traffic. With 87 finisher’s, including another couple of Strider’s (they turn up everywhere ed.), the race was won by Kristan Watson (Mansfield) in 16:08 with first woman home Mathra Owen (Dee Striders) with 17:55. If you wandered up to the Neptuno at lunchtime on Monday you could enter for five Euros otherwise entry on the day was ten so an economical outing.

A downhill start ensures that the field is strung out quickly. (Photo 2:09 Events

Striders results including an F50 victory for Sarah Allcard.

Pos Name Cat Time
2 Rob Byers SM 16:28
3 Naeem Stevens SM 16:35
14 James Wilson SM 19:23
24 (1) Sarah Allcard F50 20:51
37 Bridget Coulter SF 23:47
39 Peter Brown M60 24:09

PDF with full results Falesia 5k results 2023

At training back in the UK the following Tuesday some wag asked if we had enjoyed our holiday? There were twelve sessions in seven days culminating in a twenty mile long run around Vilamoura (or longer for those who got lost) with water stations arranged by simply popping into a bar. Self-catering was mostly on a “come dine with me basis” with everyone taking turns to cook. With a vegan present the fare was unhealthily healthy and by the end of the week some were on first name terms at the local gelado. There was dissent however with a Black Bottle type incident when a bottle of alcohol free beer appeared at dinner. The proof in the pudding however will be over 26.2 miles during April.

Brendon Wain (Wakefield) Naeem Stevens, Rob Byers, Peter Brown, Sarah Allcard

James and Bridget with the track at the AP Victoria in the background.


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