Henley-on-Thames Half-marathon – 9.10.16

Race report by Dave Phillips (or should I say “half race report”) 

This is a stunning event from Henley on Thames rugby club where 500 + did the half and 200+ the 10k.

We left the club, ran through the town where semis and terraced houses cost >£1m each I reckon. Over the Thames and along a small lane with the river Thames( full of rowers) flowing downstream on our left. Overhead the red kites soared as we passed huge mansions set in their own splendid grounds.

Then bang, crash wallop at 2 miles. My right leg collapsed at the knee (yes that bloody knee that’s been X rayed and been a real problem for weeks now). But this time I knew it was serious. I stopped dead in my tracks as any movement was not possible and the pain excruciating.

After a 5 minute rest I started in a forward motion with only 2 people behind me plus the sweeper on his bike.

Go back or hop on? The latter seemed the best bet as the course is a figure of 8 so at 6.5 miles I could drop out. I was offered a lift back by several marshals as I hobbled past them but didn’t want to put them to any trouble. Then at 3.5 miles we turned and followed the Thames back on the bank paths through the Henley Rowing Regatta territory with rowers galore on the river. One motor boat stopped and asked if I wanted a lift for the 2.5 miles back to Henley as I looked in real pain as the captain said. I thanked him and plodded on one 1 leg.

Finally nearly at the rugby club and early finishers of the half were completing the 2nd half of the figure of 8 course so I joined them and finished (but pulled out before the finish line or I’d have been down as a 1.28 finisher-which was my PB many years ago in B’ham).

To have carried on was OK with the sweeper but to keep the marshals out all day and suffer more crippling pain seemed not on.

But they gave me my medal and goodie bag so thanks Henley.

Hope to see knee specialist on Tuesday but I suspect the worst.

Massey time:

Dave Phillips DNF (1.28 for 6.5 miles-but the next 6.5 would have taken 2.5+hours minimum). Right now can’t walk, sit, stand, run or sleep).