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Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Sevenoaks Circular 31.4 miles. Marathon #81

Not feeling the greatest after a bout of food poisoning, I turned up on the day at a private school that once schooled no other than Lady Diana Spencer, although now is a private refuge for naughty posh kids....anyhow this was the start just south of Sevenoaks for the LDWA Sevenoaks Circular 30 (billed as 30 but 31.4 on the route map.

Within minutes I had bumped into Robert Cameron Wood, fresh from his 261st marathon and also Michael Bennett from Orpington Road Runners. I think he was off on more of a bimble today and also David Thompson.

Out of the blocks like a Nagasaki greyhound was Robert CW. He ran off down the hill to Knowle Park. After about the first mile, I thought I'd hang back and get into a rhythm rather than go off with the big boys. The day was cool but clammy and I stripped down to just a short-sleeved Helly and promptly lost contact with the front group of about 18 runners. I wanted to just do my own thing today and enjoy.

Getting my head into the instructions I then ran with RCW for the next few miles, plus another runner, Paul Bracey from Bromley. We ran for some miles and then the legend himself slowed down on an incline and clearly feeling the marathon the day before, duly cantered some distance back. Paul and I struck up some conversation, although mainly map reading and double-checking the route. I didn't look at the number of CPs and was surprised to find them every 5 miles or so, clearly not having read the route map! So we decided to not hang around for too long, apart from at CP2 for some delicious LDWA sarnies. Rising up to the Weald felt a slog and then coming back down we went through a recently felled forest which was kind of eerie but beautiful at the same time. This is where I found out Paul's dad used to work at my school. Small world! We overtook a number of runner who looked to have gone wrong.

We didn't see another runner for about 2 hours and were well into our run. CPs came and went...none as well stocked as CP2 so we never hung around. Off the Weald and onto the NDW climbing steeply at Chevning to Knockholt at the final CP and then back down to the Weald for the last 6 miles. Clearly tiring, we bimbled at a good ultra pace across muddy fields, some parts of town centre and along riverbanks to the finish with a nice 800m long incline where I put my foot down to finish in the bang-on predicted 5 hrs 45 and 12th place.

Felt fresh, never smashed or too far in the red. A really nice training run that was marathon #81

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