Sunday was my penultimate marathon of the year, and a small friendly local event taking place in a village outside Bedford.
5 laps consisting of mixture of farms tracks and leaf strewn paths through the trees on a gorgeous weekend. After umpteen Enigma events and even a track marathon I’m used to laps.
The event was to raise money for money for Papyrus charity (Clicky) to combat yping deaths in the UK, and £550 was raised. Andy Hoddle of Colworth Striders was RD and for a very low entry fee you got two aid stations per lap, a great medal and a Pukka Pie at the finish!
There was also the option for a team relay which my club had entered so was guaranteed some applause each lap no matter how well I ran. The downside of relay teams is you lose track of overall position as relay runners pass or are passed by you.
True to form I set off a little too quickly and was third place for the first two laps, aiming more towards the Hare side of the pace. As the laps wore on my legs were feeling heavy and 6 marathons in 2 months had taken the edge off my long run endurance. Pace fell with each successive lap as I dropped back to tortoise pace and lost some places. With one lap to go it was clear I’d missed the sub 3h30 so pushed on as much as legs were able, and did some impressive superman style lunges in the woods as tired legs found every fallen branch and I fought to keep legs feet and head the right way around.
It was a relief to enter the sports field for the final push and clock over the line in 6th place and 3h36, pleased to have held on and managing to beat all the relay teams.