5 intrepid Joggers set off at a few minutes past 8am to run, jog and walk the Stinger. It was dry underfoot – so much so that I wore road shoes – but there was a bitter east wind, making it difficult to decide what and how much to wear.
Mark, Terry and myself had done the event many times – it was my 10th – but Marcus only once before and it was Natasha’s first time, as it was Amanda’s who had started over half an hour earlier with Ralph, although apparently Gary had started even ealier.
The footpath beyond Mouse Lane was unusually dry and the only time we got our feet wet was crossing the field into Washington. The first ‘Sting’ up onto the SDW was as hard as ever, but I was going well and felt quite good on the climb up to Chanctonbury – although it was very cold – over Cissbury, round the golf course and back up to Cissbury. We then had to run into the wind to cross the Bostal road and circle Steepdown. Back across the road and up the final ‘Sting’ onto the SDW where the wind was, at last, behind us.
However, instead of flying down the Wiston Bostal, we had a more circuitous descent because Wiston House was hosting a conference. This was ok, but a more unpleasant surprise was the hill after 25 miles instead of the usual gentle – and fairly fast – descent down the road to the finish. However it is a great well-organised value-for-money event and congratulations are due to Amanda for completing her first marathon in a very respectable time – they don’t come much tougher!