Nottingham Christmas Running Festival – 3.12.17

My recent picks of marathons have been based on ease of travel to keep the cost down and a generous cut off time.  So  Time2runevents Running Festival day at Holme Pierrepoint in Nottingham fitted the bill.  Travel time was just over the hour and a 7 hour cut off – it also promised to be a flat measured road course so I promptly signed up.

Only recieving the e-mail and reading it on Saturday did I read it was 8 full laps of the lake for the marathon and a 10am start collecting numbers before 9:30.

The later start meant I had time to check my kit before leaving home – I wasn’t forgetting my shoes this time.  In fact I decided to take out one of my new pairs for a spin.  I even made sure I had the £5!  For parking.

The journey up was very smooth and traffic free infact the only delay was getting into a muddy field to park.  Glancing at my wrist I checked how much time I would have before the off.  Only to discover I had forgotten my Garmin.  Not the most critical thing to forget but if you have a habit of going off too fast and then dying later in the race – it really helps.

Registration was smooth and soon I was walking down to the start.  The half and full having different starts to make up the distance. This part lap didn’t count towards the tally of 8!

On my way I found I wasn’t the only Massey taking part.  Scott Kirton and Joanne Stacey were also running.  So during the race I would have some company as they lapped me.

Standing around chatting I wondered if I had overdressed with a long sleeve top – especially as Scott has gone hardcore runner in just a vest and shorts.

After a 5 minute delay (to allow the half runners to get to their start) we were off and I quickly fell into step with some other runners and enjoyed a nice chat for these laps which was a good job as the route was very flat and quite uninspiring.  It was about 5km around a rectangular lake!  2km and a bit up each sides and a 100 metres across.  With the grass banks and trees there was very little to see, apart from other runners and at the far end you could look all the way back to finiah and know it was nearly two miles away!

At about 12 miles Scott (aka the Rocket) shot past me with a cherry go Mr Bump – I know I am a little rounder than I should be and  had worn my lovely Coombe 8  blue top as a based layer, but I was wearing  my Marathon Mr Bump vest.  I had expected to get lapped earlier and a check with a runner indicated what I already knew… I had given me off far too fast!

With my tiredness I grabbed a gel for an energy boost – the two different variety of Swiss rolls, Christmas Cake and haribos just weren’t going to give me the boost I needed.

It did speed up something!  And luckily the facilities at the end of the lake were great – no buff lost.  Unfortunately this was the first of a couple of emergency pitstops but I have now clearly learned that one brand of energy really doesn’t agree with me.

As I ran on I pondered if at these calls of nature I had been lapped by Jo and Scott.

My pace slowed and at 20 miles as the half runners had forgotten finished the course emptied and I picked up a rather naive runner on my aid station walk break.

After a little chat I found out it was their marathon, they thought they were young and fit but the marathon needed more respect than a 20km training run and he was now struggling to walk.  So I kept him company only to be passed by Jo on her last lap whilst I still had one to go!

Discarding my last lap counting band I tried to run again after a laps walk break this proved a challenge but like the tin man after a good amount of lubrication my joints started to work and I started to run between emergency phones in some weird Fartlek training session.

Entering the turn for home I force myself to run on to the cheery marshal.  This meant I finally caught up with Man in tight lycra so I kept running.  With less than a mile to go my planned walk break was ditched as Man in tight lycra started to run again – he was trying to catch me!

Despite feeling as if I was unable to run any more I got a second wind!  Tight lycra man was not going to beat me.  So I started to run properly.  On the final push to the finish I could hear him breath just behind me.  I wasn’t having it so I gritted my teeth and went on.  It is daftness at my position in the race to really care about a sprint finish to get position 205 rather than 206! But I did.

The only disappointment was the medal although pretty it is exactly the same as all the other races!


Massey times.

Scott Kirton 98th in 3:52:12

Joanne Stacey 170th in 4:47:32

Daniel Connolly 205th in 5:35:27