Supposedly Round 8 in the Cornish Grand Prix Series, but actually Round 7 following the demise of the Falmouth Half Marathon, the Sticker 5 road race can essentially be summed up as a "hillier Cubert". Unlike Cubert, which is essentially flat by Cornish standards, Sticker includes a number of long hills which are quite taxing on the muscles and likely to destroy any hopes of a PB.
With summer in full swing in Cornwall, most people were already working up a sweat just chilling out in the sun before the race had even started. Thankfully it was an early evening start for this one, positive in the fact that the heat of the day was subsiding, but negative in the fact that there was an abundance of flies out on the course.
The race starts of fairly fast, after a gentle climb off the start line, runners quickly descend into the village of Sticker to a raucous applause. The first hill rapidly approaches though as runners climb for some time out of Sticker into the surrounding hills. The next 1.5 miles are probably the highlight of the race, a fast section of flat or downhill tarmac, allowing runners to get into a groove and pick up the pace.
The big sting in the tail with this race though is that the nice fast section has resulted in quite a significant descent, which must be regained to get back to the finish line. The result of all this is that almost the entire second half of the race is uphill, never particularly steep, but just relentless with only limited respite from the climbing. The final flat sprint to the finish line cannot come quick enough.
After 2 races in the previous 4 days, I tried to race for the first mile but was then resigned to treat this race as a cool down run and it became more enjoyable as a result. Next up, Boconnoc on Tuesday, then back to more sensible rest between races...