Fifteen down, five to go
Back at Cyclopark in Gravesend, the location of the brilliantly organised sister event Kent Roadrunner (No.9), for marathon number fifteen marking the three-quarter mark of my challenge this year.
I was fortunate to be taken care of by Natalie and Phil the night before the race again, and so didn’t have to travel so far on race morning. After picking up our Roadrunner buddy Katy we arrived at Cyclopark on what started out as an overcast and chilly morning with time to spare to collect our bibs and catch up with another couple of BCRCer’s, one of whom was good friend from work River, who had also supported and run with me at previous events this year. His support, and that of his family and friends would be much-needed.
I’d come into this off of a great run at Bacchus the previous week, an eventful working week and very little sleep. I was worn out before I started.
I was looking forward to it all the same, especially after the fun I’d had here at Roadrunner. I always love meeting up with these guys and knowing River was going to drag me round was much appreciated. The course was the same as Roadrunner, just run in reverse.
Running number fifteen wearing number fifteen was obviously pretty appropriate, and we got underway with River’s family cheering on from the sidelines supplying us with essentials after each loop of the track.
River set off at his usual swift pace and we kept a pretty consistent pace for much of the race, although I knew he was running well within himself. The hill on each loop seemed to get much steeper as the race went on and this combined with almost falling asleep and the increasing temperature did slow our pace from mile 22. We kept on keeping on though and buoyed by constant encouragement from supporters around the course and fellow runners …. and pinging elastic bands at people, we finished in a very respectable three hours and forty minutes, slightly quicker than Roadrunner in May largely thanks to my pacer dragging me round !
We collected our enormous medals, beer and goodies, caught up with family and friends, and I had a lay down for a while exhausted and admittedly a little emotional.
Shortly afterwards we grabbed a massage, tidied ourselves up and watched Nat and Katy finish their races. Food, photo call and a long drive home, job done.
Learning points :
- I did enjoy it, but I think that might be the last time I run a loopy one
- It’s good to have your own personal aid station at the side of the course (thanks Mike & George !)
- A hill after 10 or so laps is a different proposition to a hill after 1 lap
- I need to figure out how to sleep again
- I need a rest
- I still enjoyed (most of) it and I will be back running soon …. probably with a different flag in the background
“Don’t stop when you’re tired, stop when you’re done”