The weather forecast was not promising – squally showers and windy – but it was not going to be cold apparently – unlike 2 years ago when the ambient temperature hovered around zero and the wind chill made it feel several degrees below.
We gathered at the start and I met a friend of mine from Kent who took some photos, but I was surprised to see Terry after his 11 miler the day before. I set off very steadily and therefore never saw Ilidia, who usually overtakes me around the 10 mile mark and is never to be seen again during the race.
Despite the significant undulations and running into the wind at the start, I was feeling ok, but needed some distraction which was unexpectedly provided by 2 ladies running behind me for several miles, discussing their elderly parents and what was involved in looking after them. They never seemed out of breath and could have been having a conversation over coffee!
They overtook me going up the hill approaching Cranleigh – apparently it’s no longer the largest village in England as it now has a population of over 14,000 – and I didn’t see them again until the finish when they said they had expected me to join in their conversation….
As usual, a decision had to me made when approaching the finish of the 15 miler whether to repeat the 6 mile loop. As the ladies had disappeared, it was still cold and wet and I was suffering from a bit of cramp, I called a halt at that point. My time of 2.20 was not great, although it was faster than last year.
Having wandered slowly back to the car, put some warm clothes on and had a drink, I was driving home back down the route and saw Ilidia going like a train on her second 6 mile lap and Terry doggedly climbing a hill on his first – I have every admiration for both of them.