Marlow 7 and Half Marathon
Marlow 7 and Half Marathon
Sunday 6th November
A beautiful sunny morning if a little chilly. My support crew (David and the kids) enjoyed cake after they saw me off through the town. A nice easy start and not too crowded which then headed up the first of the four hills. This being my first ‘race’ since June and after reading the course description I downgraded my hopeful 1:15 to nearer 1:30. The hills were tough but I only felt the need to walk a little on the last one. The downhills were tough too though – I wasn’t planning on falling! It was a lovely course in the sun but I can imagine a little rain would have made the downhills a little slippy. All in all it was reasonably enjoyable and I surprised myself (and David who nearly missed my finish) by finishing in 1:11:59 and not being caught by any half marathoners!
Marlow was beautifully sunny and horribly cold. James and David said it was perfect weather for running but they’re wrong!
Personally my perfect running weather involves a baseball cap and sunglasses, 18 to 25 degrees and sun cream below the eyesJ
The course was lovely ‘though and the hills really weren’t as bad as the profile looks, but it did require a short march on my part at mile 7 and mile 9 and my brakes were on fully for the respective downhills while the brave piled past me – caught them again on the uphill ‘though 😉
Marshals were plentiful and encouraging. The last water stop could’ve had a gel or two for some sugar but to make up for it there was a little girl handing out celebrations. Roads weren’t closed but for the most part very quiet.
Would I do it again? Yes, definitely (if they sort out the baggage collection at the end – poor James, not only had he to wait half an hour for me to finish but another half hour for me to collect my bag)
Thankfully the goodie bag (that we didn’t have to queue for) contained a long-sleeved tee-shirt and a chocolate biscuit that we donned and devoured while waiting!
I always like a good hill. However, me and hills have had a recent falling out which resulted in the hill or rather mountain, Pen Y Fan, coming off much better than me. I broke my collar bone in July and since then I have been on the road to recovery. I’ll be honest, it was a reasonably large leap of faith to enter the Marlow half because I have been rather careful about where and when I run and also what I run on. I have lost a little confidence too so the half was unusually significant – it was more than just a race, it was a confidence booster and a hilly one at that. Uncharacteristically my race plan was rather conservative. I announced to David Killick before the start that I wanted only to do a 1:30 and to get round without falling over. This I achieved (1:29.31) and I am pleased that I stuck to that plan because it gave me a chance to enjoy the course, the beautiful scenery and have a chat with a runner or two along the way. The Marlow half comes highly recommended and I think for all that were involved in either the 7 miler or half, the benefits will be reaped in the winter half next month.
Ed. Kate and Susan Johnson also ran with Susan finishing with a 3 minute PB in a time of 1:21:53.