With Mary unable to race Ashby this year but wanting to be part of the whole event, we both had an early start to get to Ashby to pitch the Gazebo on Bath Field and set up her Sports Massage couch before other Massey Runners arrived. The prime location and being the only club with a tent provoked a few envious looks from other clubs. We looked very serious, hopefully our running performances would live up to the professional tent set up!
The weather forecast said Max 8°C, cloudy and overcast. Other runners had seen the same forecast and long sleeve tops, tights, hats and gloves made the start line.
Just how wrong the forecast could be! The clouds burnt away quickly over the first two miles and the sun shone down and the temperatures rose. Sitting here writing the report I am a delightful shade of Massey Red where I caught the sun.
The course is a very hilly but pleasant route through countryside and small villages. Ivanhoe Running Club again prove why this race is so popular. It isn’t just for the hoodie and the perfect distance for spring marathon runners training plan, but also for the excellent organisation and the great marshalling.
Last Year I emailed the race organisers to comment on the lack of facilities on route (2 portiloos in No Pee Packington.) Well, they listened to my feedback and that of others as at every well stocked water station – gels, chocolate, jelly babies and water in bottles and cups – there were two green boxes, the placement meant minimal queuing and no need to hide behind a hedge! (Syned Striders runner we spotted you outside of Packington!)
The warm weather may have caught the runners unaware, but the organisers had two sponge stations to help mop the sweaty brows or douse the warm back, a very welcome touch.
This year I would love to say I had a great run and blasted home to a PB, alas the warm weather, poor breakfast, marathon two weeks earlier, general fatigue, endoftermitus – whatever the reason may have been my running stopped at mile 11! Despite the Ivanhoe runners and their friends and family who make up the bulk of the marshals on the course, being encouraging and offering positive words and encouraging cheers my body wasn’t having any of it and I had to walk-run, later becoming a walk stagger.
I was clearly looking as bad as I felt as a cycle marshal came over and asked me by name (I don’t have mine printed on my top… so had a marshal radioed in for support for runner 249?) if I was alright.
I wanted that hoodie badly so I wasn’t going to stop – slow down yes! But stop no! Despite being overtaken by countless runners I plodded on.
At 19miles I knew that I was not right in the head – and not just for trying to move for 20 miles – can’t really call my shuffle by the end running. My vision started to go and I started to stagger like a drunk, weaving a path over the path and the road. On the turn towards the Bath Fields and a stagger into the road away from the turn a marshal decided to escort me to the finish. At this point I think he knew I would not be stopped, but that I needed help and medical attention (the nearest of which was at the finish.) so proceeded to guide me towards the finish
I have no idea of what happened for the last 800m – except to say I found myself in the medical tent with Mary telling me off with bags of ice thrust under my clothes and being told to drink.
Despite me having a mare of a run there were some great performances and a good few PBs from other Massey runners.
This is a well organised race and one which I am sure I will try again.
179 Simon Neale 02:26:05
277 Steve Damms 02:34:24
634 Nathan Bignall 02:56:20
726 Darren Chambers 03:02:20
869 Jonathan Kingston 03:13:29
952 Rachel Brock 03:19:15
995 David Goodwin 03:25:32
1056 Phyll Douglas 03:34:00
1057 Jason Douglas 03:33:59
1086 Lisa Kenny 03:36:28
1088 Angela Mckay 03:37:18
1089 David Mckay 03:37:18
1100 Natalie Deven 03:38:20
1184 Tiffannie Slatford 04:05:30
1186 Marie Oconnor 04:06:22
1193 Emma Cutting 04:10:25
1194 Andy Cutting 04:10:28
1206 Daniel Connolly 04:13:59
1214 Kelvin Elliott 04:18:33
1218 Nicola Ellis 04:23:09
1219 Anne Marie Paszkiewicz 04:23:10
1238 Maggie Morgan 04:41:38