Last year’s Clarendon – marathon, half marathon and relay – was a club highlight, if not for me personally! However interest seemed to wane this year or people were busy with other things, so it was just Ilidia, Jackie, Dani, Fabian, Mark and me who left Henfield just after 6.30am en route for Winchester to get the coach to the start at Salisbury.
We started with the slower joggers at 9.30am and, having run the event 6 times previously, the familiar landmarks started to appear, mainly, but not exclusively, in the form of hills, which were a reason [not an excuse] to walk. For some reason, despite my best intentions, based on Brian’s experience last year, I found myself running with Ilidia for the first half. She explained that her comparatively slow pace was that she was waiting for Jackie. I should mention I usually see her only once at an event before the finish, either at the start or when she passes me!
Anyway just after half way, she took off and was out of sight within minutes, although Jackie joined me shortly afterwards and we ran together for a while until she also edged ahead. Despite tripping over a tree root in almost exactly the same place as last year, I actually felt quite good in the latter stages – certainly much better than in the previous 2 years – and I think this was at least partly due to carrying and refilling a water bottle, so I drank more and warded off my perennial problem of cramp.
Meanwhile, further back Dani was having a bit of a struggle and eventually dropped out at 19 miles, while Mark finished in a slower time than usual, a few minutes ahead of Fabian, who completed his first marathon – congratulations to him – there are easier ones! One unexpected turn of events was my being interviewed and photographed with some civic dignitaries, who had seen my 100 MC T-shirt and wanted to know why on earth anyone would want to run over 100 marathons. All in all it was a great day.