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Sunday, 18 July 2010

Race Report Fairlands Valley Marathon

rotten apple II, originally uploaded by ultraBobban.

You often find that when you do well for a while, it is a shock to the system when you perform less than you have got used to expecting from yourself. 4 great XC marathons or ultras and what seemed to be a Royal Flush was on the way today.

No way. Not ever. Physically it was stacked up against me. Sore achilles, lack of miles this week, less than good diet this week, late nights home from work and then a curry last night and 3 glasses of wine and a champagne mojito. OK, the last 2 I really was asking for it. To top it off (my fault again) I rushed out of the house without either sunscreeen or breakfast.

Having said all of that, I had a great day out. Running with Johnny Mac aka Sole Man fresh from Marathon des Sables fame we decided to run together. Johnny is younger than me by about 150 years and is about 30 seconds a mile fitter than me at the moment. We swapped stories as we meandered through the rolling hills of Hertfordshire as after we had left the turd that is Stevanage (certainly not the jewel of Hertfordshire) we got into deep conversation. The start was in 3 waves 30 mins apart and with a set of directions and a checkpoint stamp card we set off at 10.00am.

There was minimal road running as we kept to byways and tracks of Watton, Knebworth and Datchworth. Stopping to check the map was frequent but not an issue as there were plenty of others doing the same. We caught up to the previous wave after 15 miles and shared a laugh with more runners than I have ever seen from the 100 marathon club and after circumnavigating the whole of St Albans Striders we were on our way to the next CP.

Johnny Mac managed to get hold of Liz Hurley on the way, but he couldn't get her top off. I suggested that he bite it; and that helped. Soon he had peeled off her outer layer and was rummaging around at the bottom end, snaffling for loose nuts. Aside from the excellent bread and butter pudding (better......wait......better than the C2C!!) Johnny had taken to the Elizabeth Hurley Bars (??????)

The charge of the light brigade from 18 miles a la Me and Immune never materialised this time. A gentle waddle at 9.00s plus sent me into a spin of physical hatred for not being prepared (no marathon is easy) and a few needed walk breaks up the gentle undulations ( this point, everyone was walking and we were genreally running...except a few bits) and then it was left for us to reminisce of the quaint pubs, railway bridges, clear crisp gugling water of the streams and reed-filled rivers and return to modernist hell of the turd-like estates of outer Stevenage and in the words of Jeremy Clarkson......."Across the line" in a slow but map reading respectable 4.19

1 comment:

  1. What you failed to mention was; we probably consumed more calories in bread pudding and energy drinks than we burnt off by running.
    Good day out though, thanks for your company. More of the same on the South Downs this weekend then?
    P.S. Bring some money for the ice-cream van.
    Sole Man.