Race report by David Phillips.
Having done all the Chester Marathons I still think it has to be one of the best there is-and not just because about 9 miles of it are in Wales. Plus there is a 26k Metric Marathon and kids races so what more could anyone want?
The start is on the wonderful Chester racecourse at the “2 furlong mark” then up into what has to be one of the most beautiful cities anywhere. Architecture dating back 250 + years is all over the place, then the town hall with a 4 walled tower but only a clock on 3 of the sides. Why do I hear? Because the English at that time didn’t want their clock looking towards Wales. True fact-hmmm. Then we ran past the wonderful Cathedral where Robina went on Sunday morning and then out over the river Dee into lovely flat countryside on closed roads (for all of the event).
Loads of drink stations with gels and Lucozade and superb marshals made it a real joy in which to participate. Then of course the 7 miles “across the border” made the day worthwhile.
I was doing OK then at 14 my right foot started to hurt like hell all along the top bones, ligaments and tendons. It got worse by the yard until the best way was to hop on the left foot keeping the right foot off the ground. Trouble was this hurt the left foot and leg. Pull out some marshals suggested as did the St John ambulance but I assured them that I was OK and race walking became the order of the day-didn’t understand “pull out” anyway. Not in my vocab.
Then a small stone got into my left shoe under my heel and I tried to shake/dislodge it but after a few miles I had to take the shoe off and remove it. Damage done by then with very sore heel.
The last 8 miles had a lot of long inclines which made the going tough especially as my right foot was killing me but eventually the outskirts of Chester were in sight with about 4 miles to go.
At 24 we joined the main road in town then at 25 turned off and followed the river Dee along it’s walkways to the racecourse with just 400 yards to go.
Was I glad to finish and I could only just hobble back on one foot with Robina to the Chester Grosvenor hotel-fortunately less than ½ mile away.
There were 2784 finishers and quite a few behind me but there were 35 DNF and it could have been 36 DNF if I had used my brain as some friend commented at the finish.
Anyway another done so must sort the foot before Illmington 10k and Snowdon marathon in Oct.
Finally many thanks to Anne-Marie for organising the Pizza Express table for the 10 Massey people on Saturday evening. Great company and good food (and 5% cider for me).
Back home now so will try a left leg hop walk run thing around the village!
Dave Phillips 6 hrs 09 mins.