I did it!
Not just run a marathon but arrive with a complete set of kit with me. Trainers, Garmin the lot! Finally it seems my checklist is working. So this will be a very boring race report from me as I have no disasters
My race paranoia meant that we arrived just as the registration for the race opened at 8:45 for a 10am start so plenty of time for frequent unnecessary prerace toilet trips as well as great the vast swathes of Massey Runners who had also signed up unknown to each other!
As I sat in the car shivering I regretted putting N/A against running tights and jacket on my checklist as it was very chilly and a drizzle was falling – definitely not what the BBC weather APP had predicted – my worries about running marathons in hot summer weather in July was totally forgotten. Mary still applied her suncream as after Trail Marathon Wales she didn’t want to risk burning again.
The Snickerthon is a multilap race – each lap being around 3.3miles, so competitors had a choice, 2 laps for a 10km ish race, 4 laps for a 1/2ish marathon and 8 laps for a full, The great thing is that you can step down a distance at any point in the race and still get your bling and a time.
At 10am prompt, Denzil started the runners off around Chasewater Lake (IM Staffs home!) Runners soon spread out on the paths before heading out along the wall of the dam, overlooking the wakeboarding and dinghies.
The route is very much multiterrain as the race winds it’s way around the Lake along roads, paths and grass tracks. The recent dry weather meant road shoes would be the order of the day and with the long compacted gravel service road the cushioning was very welcome.
I set my race strategy out in the car on the way – Finish under the cut off – around 5:59:59 saving as much energy as possible and at any race camera try and look happy as I leap into the air. I wasn’t racing for a time but to enjoy the experience and tick another marathon off. One day soon I will really run for a PB but that wasn’t on the cards. I had thought that was the plan for Mary as well, but after halfway she ran off and left me! Happily running her own race at her own pace – her coach would have words with her later!
The course was relatively flat with only a few undulations and therefore relatively few speedy downhills – 100m of total elevation on the course – Ludlow parkrun has almost that over 5km! Parts of the course offered beautiful views of the lake and surrounding area and on my 5th lap I stopped for a Selfie with a deer I met on route – It was at this point I linked up with a fellow runner who stopped to not get in the way of my selfie.
During the race the weather had improved massively if you wanted a nice day out, the rain stopped before the race had started and the clouds had burnt away, each lap the temperature went up and so did the number of visitors.
Over the next 3 and a bit laps and I chatted to Helen as ran and walked our way around the course. One of the great things about these kind of marathon events is who you meet that will help you or you help to complete the run. At the end of lap 7 with a 99 in hand (Note to other runners… an 99 seems like a good idea but it is harder to run after eating a flake, ice cream and cone than just an ice lolly) Mary passed me as she finished her race! I knew I should have ignored the self ice cream bribe to avoid the humiliation of being lapped by my own wife!
Mary offered to walk the last lap with me but I felt fine as I had been taking it nice and easily – especially as the sun had really started to make it presence felt (mainly on my bald spot and neck) I declined the offer and continued on my way – ignoring the fact I had sun cream in my drop bag! Rookie error – I would discover later as I had to coat myself in natural yogurt to reduce the sun burn.
After stopping to take a picture of the gap in the fence for Helen I glanced at my Garmin and realised that if we pressed on we could scoot under the 6hr mark. So from that point we ditched the walking to run the rest. In fact my fastest mile of this marathon was the last – I guess I really wanted to make sure I made it!
Mary was waiting at the finish, much to my surprise not with a CODRC, How Hard Can it be Hoodie maybe next time – well it is only two weeks away!
- Joanne Stacey 4:47:08
- Mary Connolly 5:0837
- Daniel Connolly 5:57:34
- Cathy Keay 2:11:59
- Hugh Miller 2:26:30
- Clare Weston 2:27:01
- Lesley Keighley 2:43:57
- Anne-Marie Paszkiewicz 2:58:38
- Alison Clark 3:08:09
- Rachel Brock 1:07:16