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Report: Cambridge Marathon by Tom Brown

What do you do when an old uni friend rings you up and asks if you will join him for his first ever marathon? You say yes of course, how hard could it be? Cambridge is well known for it’s lack of hills and the event offered me the perfect opportunity to increase my stamina for the SDR and impress Captain Fab.

As advertised on the website the boundary marathon takes runners around the outskirts of Cambridge, incorporating a mixture of road, muddy footpaths and trails and takes in Cambridge’s best known beauty spots.

700 runners started the race, hosted by the university, most of whom opted for the half marathon with only a couple of hundred continuing on the full loop around the city.

It was a very laid back race with a friendly and pressure-free atmosphere. Spectators could be seen waving from windows and a few others lined the course with large containers of Haribo sweets and Jellybabies. The 5 water stations around the course, mostly erected in people’s gardens, were often a place for runners to gather and gorge themselves on a fine selection of biscuits, sweets and fruit.

The course was well managed, signposted using a mixture of signs and flour arrows marked out on the ground and runners were marshalled by a very enthusiastic bunch who kept popping up at random points on the course, most travelling by bike to get to their next station.

I really enjoyed the run, perhaps a bit too much. My aim was to get my friend around in under 4 hours. We were well on course until mile 17 when he realised he had perhaps been a little naive with his preparation. I continued with my motivational speeches until at mile 20 my friend snapped at me, shouting, “stop being so chirpy!”
A mixture of fatigue and mud led to a couple of slower miles and we eventually finished in a time of 4 hours 9 mins.

All In all it was a good race but I look forward to getting back the hills and the West Sussex fun runs!

Tom Brown