Breaching the mat. (Photo credit: Total Race Timing.)

Agent Carley … Your mission, should you choose to accept it … (Cue the music.)

Stablemate “Agent” Ryan Carley (27) snuck back near his heimat and took on the Bassingham Bash 5 Mile in a stonking 29:13, giving himself an excellent benchmark in his first go at the distance. 

Agent Carley completed the mission in 41st place overall against a ridiculously fast field. 

The cloak-and-dagger man was swimming upstream from the off, with the rain only letting up after the gun went—but then it became a “moist, muggy mess.” Urgh

The Stable News chief operations manager, Ally “the Chin” Smith, met up with Agent Carley in a safe house for a debrief: 


Carley: Agent Carley passcode: oscar, bravo, six, nine, seven. Now the retinal scan. 

Smith: Nice of you to join me in person, Agent Carley. 

Carley: I was in the neighbourhood. This only came about as I was going to my home town that weekend and my dad was running it too, so I thought I’d enter.

Smith: Very good. Now … What went down?

Carley: I went out hard with the whole field, running a 5:35 mile. Didn’t really feel like I had much choice, as it was a mass stampede, and I couldn’t get left behind. 

Smith: Uh-huh. 

Carley: I settled in well; it was a nice, fast, and flat race. I went through 5km in 17:50 and managed to hold together a sub-6 min/mile pace for the final 2 miles to come in under my goal. 

Smith: Good work. 

Carley: I was thinking 29:30 was realistic, so I was happy with 29:13 (5:50/mile average.) Definitely the race with the fastest field I’ve ever run in.

Smith: Splendid. Anything else you care to add? 

Carley: I’ve been training well since I ran the London Marathon in April and have been enjoying shorter distance training, with the goal of entering more shorter races over the next few months. 

Smith: We shall try our best to accommodate you. Possibly in the autumn. 

Carley: That’s just what I wanted to hear. I will be going with the goal of breaking 17’ for 5K and will be looking for a half-marathon to go for over the winter and look to break that 80-minute barrier.

Smith: It sounds like we are all on the same page, Agent Carley. Another good one for the books. Top job. 

Carley: Thank you, sir. 

The Stablemaster, relaxing in his study with a stiff brandy, added this to the debrief: 

“Ahh, young Agent Carley—full of vigour and vitality. Going off like a bat out of hell and then taking control of himself shows he’s match fit after London. 

A couple more shorter races will be ideal before we cannonball towards the sub-80 half-mara’. Good man.”