Sunday, 4 April 2010

100 is a very shiny number

So, on Friday was number 99 – the 27 mile Bletchley Enigma Marathon, organised by fellow Fetchie and 10in10 runner, Dave Bayley. It was a pleasantly flat and scenic route, with a lap around the lake in Bletchley Park, followed by 9 miles along the canal to a turnaround point, then back in the opposite direction. I ran with Fetchie Katie for the first half and we were joined by 100 club member Neil on the way back and we chatted the whole way. There was a strong wind, which fortunately was a tail wind for the return leg. The rain and cold kicked in for the last couple of miles around the lake, but we were pleased to finish in 4:29:04.Then I took a train up to Goring & Streatley, where I was collected, along with a couple of others, by Jan Kearn, the lovely wife of Dick Kearn, who himself is an amazing and inspirational character, as well as being the race director of the Compton Downland Challenge 40 miler. (He’s also the director of the GUCR and he and Jan also man checkpoints at the Ridgeway 85 and Caesar’s Camp 100). Some people might think it odd to arrive the day before a race, go out to the pub with the organisers and fellow runners, then sleep on gym mats in the school hall. But it works, with a great atmosphere and lots of interesting people around. I wore my compression tights overnight and was pleased to wake up with relatively fresh legs.

The race is on a figure of 8 shaped course (there is also a 20 mile options, making for a total field of over 200 runners) over the downs, including some steep hills up onto the Ridgeway and this year featuring some very slippery mud (and for some reason I didn’t take my trail shoes, so spent a lot of the day sliding around in my roadies). There are 8 checkpoints, well stocked with a variety of food and drinks, manned by enthusiastic and supportive marshals. This has to be one of the best-organised events on the race calendar. With a huge feel-good factor. I took it fairly steady, wanting to finish feeling happy. I enjoyed the run very much and chatted with various runners throughout the day. I finished half an hour quicker than last year, in 7:21:54. At the end lots of people were congratulating me on completing my 100th marathon and becoming a world record holder (unofficial so far, but I should hopefully be able to get it certificated by the Guinness people by sending them some evidence). There were many people there that I knew, including the three gents that ran with me through the night at the Ridgeway, the chap who did the last 60 miles of Caesar’s with me, lots of 100 club folk and Fetchies, plus I met more new fascinating people.
I had a brilliant day. But I mustn’t get big headed – training for the 10in10 and GUCR continues, so I’ve done my gentle 10 miler this morning…

No comments:

Post a Comment