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Sunday, 18 September 2011

Green Chain Marathon 2011 - Race Report; a day of missing markers and a dozy marshal

Green Chain Marathon 2011 by ultraBobban
Green Chain Marathon 2011, a photo by ultraBobban on Flickr.

It's been more than long enough since I penned a race report and and I am glad to do so.

The GCM is a local race and I am more than hapy to support low carbon "just down the road (8 miles)" race.

Bright sunshine woke me up.... I was up and ready to race but my blinking leg was still asleep. After the 20 min drive down to Avery Hill; Greenwich, I got out and signed in, meeting Helly D at the start. She told me about the Ridgeway where she ran 5 mins slower than last year but managed 2nd lady overall. She keeps coming 2nd!! Anyhow we went off at a fair clip and Helen was keen to stay with a group. I said that I felt a little slow owing to my broken leg and dropped my pace by 20 secs a mile. Soon finding myself running all alone, perhaps 20 secs per mile faster than the big group behind, but equally slower than the big group in front, I went through CP1 and then CP2 without stopping. The course was through wooded hilly parts of our lovely City that I never knew existed.....and then we traversed Lesnes Abbey and then bang....Thamesmead (on Thames). I am so glad that the concrete jungle was asleep as we ran through perhaps the most income deprived area of south london. I can't imagine what being there on a saturday night would be like but the broken bottles, evidence of burning and vandalism conjured up a place that I did not want to be.

Along the Thames Path to smelly Crossness and down to Erith. Helly was probably about 10 mins in front of me but at the finish, we shared our thoughts on the "James Bond" style buildings that were retro-modernistic. I was cantering along and soaking up the sunshine. Cutting back towards London with the Dartford Bridge just a couple of miles away and into Franks Park and bizarrely past my mate Nick's house......must give him a call.....I haven't heard from him an an age.

Uneventful miles uphill though woodland and then came the point of becoming lost. Plumstead Common, a marshall sent me and another runner straight. Dozy bint.....she should have sent me right. We ran right down to the Thames at Woolwich down Ha Ha road and the round trip was 4 miles.

Back on course I caught and passed about 20 people. The checkpoints came and went until the lovely Eltham Palace and then the last few miles were along roads. I put my head down and miles 27-31 were all 8s or abouts.

Pity I got so lost and spent so much time with the map and asking locals where I was. Yes a Landranger would have helped but I still enjoyed it as I saw so many parts of London that I never knew existed and I have lived here for 15 years!!!

Will be back next year....A low key LDWA style event but very friendly. 4 hours 30 running time for 31 miles but with mapping and hanging around on street corners.....5.00 overall.

1 comment:

  1. Good effort. Pain when you get lost or given wrong directions as in this case. Will be good to meet up for a run soon. Nursing a niggle at the moment, so zero running for over a week!