Race report by Dave Phillips.
This event is held in the huge Arrow Park between Studley and Redditch just 10 mins drive from home, and what a stunning location it is. Huge lakes, rivers, woods, open areas and paths and cycle ways everywhere.
The swim (7.0, 3.5 and 1.75 miles) started at 0700 hrs. The cycle rides (61,31 and 15 miles) started at noon and the marathon, half and 10k at 1530 hrs. You could do any combination of these items and move from one event to the next but for those doing just the runs it was a mass start at 1530 hrs. I was with the latter bunch doing the marathon-or so I thought!! Read on.
It was a 4 lap event and what a joy it was in such a beautiful place and great fun to be overtaking and being overtaken by runners doing all the events.
The start area was described as “a party in the park” with a huge stage, live music, stalls and loads of people from all walks of life just having a stroll in the park with the kids.
Lap 1 was great and the 6.5 miles took me c75 mins so OK there-or so I thought, Then just past the finish area on the start of lap 2 the course took us on a stony, gravelly, rough track for a few yards and my foot caught a rock, I pitched forward and my right hand arm smashed into the rocky surface and I was almost out for the count such was the pain. I’ve bust my shoulder or dislocated it I thought as I couldn’t use it to get up but fortunately the survival team was nearby and came to my rescue. One guy pulled me up with my right arm and I swear I felt/heard it click back into place again. Dislocation over so let’s carry on was my initial thought.
Then we looked at the rest of me and there was so much blood streaming from my hand and elbow that they insisted that I pulled out to have it seen to.
Hmmm such words as “pull out” are not in my dictionary but I did follow them to the medical tent where for 45 mins they dressed everything but such was the damage that the official starter pleaded with me to withdraw and they all insisted that the A&E must be my next place of call.
So I drove back home-not far-and went to the A&E at Warwick still in my running kit and covered all over in blood. Fortunately the bandages the medics had put on kept the flow back.
The doctor at the A&E said so deep was the hand cut in the soft part below the thumb and also it was full of gravel and dirt that only surgical cleaning would suffice and the elbow injury was the same except there was no skin left just bone everywhere.
So 2 hours later they had injected me 12 times with pain killers and put in 6 stitches on the hand and 4 on the elbow.
I didn’t mention the shoulder as it must have popped back into place but hurt like hell.
It was now 2100 hours so should I pop back to Redditch and finish the marathon? Robina and my daughter who were at the A&E gave me a very straight answer.
So what a failure that’s all I can say. To be truthful if I had carried on after I fell, the infection with the muck and gravel in the cuts could have become very infectious so for once my head ruled my heart. Could lose your hand/arm one medic said.
So that’s the 2nd time I’ve been pulled out of a race. The 1st was 20+ years ago on lap 2 of the Stratford marathon when I fell, my hand went down a drain and my little finger snapped off. I wanted to carry on then as a 3.20 was looming but again the medics did their bit. Again that was a Warwick A&E visit.
Dave Phillips: DNF.