Alfa Mar 2020 – Thanks Very Much Dennis
Not quite the start we were hoping for. I received a message from the airline to say that our flight had been cancelled! Trying to get hold of the airline late on Friday evening is not easy and in the end the best they could offer was 5 seats on a mid week flight. As there were 8 of us that was not an option and it was left to us to make our own flight arrangements. Eventually I managed to get seats out on a Ryanair plane flying from Bournemouth on Wednesday.
We left Marys at midday on Wednesday and arrived in Bournemouth with plenty of time to spare. Such a busy airport, we were the only flight for the whole afternoon and yet the flight was delayed by 15 minutes! The pilot did manage make up for the delay and we arrived in Faro airport just about on time. By the time we had got through passport control and collected our luggage it was about 9pm when we boarded the minibus to take. us to the hotel. A quick check in, time for a quick drink then off to bed ready for an early start for the first session of the week (or in our case, half week).
Thursday started off very sunny and after a hearty breakfast we walked up to the village for a few supplies and then get ready for the first training session of the day. The first session of the day was a time trial on the cross country course and on the first session Alfie recorded the second fastest time overall with Amber recording the fastest female time overall on this course. Alfie went one better on the second time trial and smashed Matt Gordons long standing course record by 12 seconds. Good runs from the rest of the group and them back to the hotel for a rest in preparation for the second session of the day. For the afternoon session we were on the track running 400s under a very warm sun. Good times from all the group, all worked very well with consistent times. In the evening we dined at the Chinese Restaurant then back to the hotel for a well deserved rest and a good nights sleep.
Friday was another sunny day and generally a rest day but due to our short week we needed to fit in an afternoon session at the track. After breakfast we took the bus into Albufeira for a bit of shopping followed by a bite to eat. We had over an hour to wait before the bus arrived so made enquiries with one of the taxi drivers and he took us back to the hotel for just €13, that was less than half the price of the bus fare! And got us back to the hotel a lot quicker. After a brief rest we were back down at the track for a 200m session, again very consistent times from all the group. There was also some very impressive javelin throws from the German athletes who were also at the track. In the evening we dined at the Pizza restaurant which included the nightly quiz, three quiz sheets in one night so as well as keeping their bodies active they were also keeping their brains active!!
Saturday was another hot day and after breakfast and a short rest it was time for the beach run. The 20 minute beach run was followed by a beach session with Hayley, a very good fun session which all enjoyed, We had a new addition to the group, Chloe from Andover AC was out there on a break with her mum and was persuaded to join in. She even joined in with the mass jump in to the outdoor pool, which they did several times! We then had a break for lunch after which the athletes got ready for the sand sculpture competition. The competition was judged by Mary and Hayley who declared the winning team were the boys for their octopus. After the competition it was back to the hotel and do a bit of packing. In the evening we went to the Flor DeMar restaurant for the presentation evening, the awards are listed at the end of this report.
A late flight back meant that we were able to get in one more training session which was the cliff top run. The athletes opted to do this before breakfast so at 7.00am they were on their way! After the run we went up for breakfast and then returned to our rooms to finish packing. Once we had handed our keys we made the most of the sun on what was probably the hottest day of the week. At around 3pm we walked down to the café for a meal then back to the hotel to wait for our transport. We were the last flight out of Faro and made good time back to Gatwick and arrived back at Mary’s around 2am.
Thanks to everyone for their company, a very enjoyable few days, I hope you all had a good time and reap the benefits of your training. Plans for next year will start around the beginning of April, athletes are selected for this week, it is not open to anyone but basically you must train and compete on a regular basis and be over 15 years of age.
Awards for the week were as follows:
Algarve Quiz Champion Alfie Moth
Carer of the week Hayley Greenwood
Ambassador of the week Joe Wiggins
T Lady of the week Amber Faull
Cross Country Runner of the week Alfie Moth
Seamstress of the week Mary Goater
Memory Man of the week Ben Barron
Athlete of the week Jodie Jolliffe
Menace of the week Dennis