Tony and I set off at 5:45 it seemed lighter than it did last year and warmer. The walk from Meriden to the Greenaway went well and we stripped off our outer layers ready to jog the next part. On the Greenaway we overtook several walkers arrived at the first checkpoint in Kenilworth completing the first 8.2 miles. After a quick drink and bite to eat we continued jog/walking to checkpoint 2 in Bubbenhall 14.3 miles completed in just under 3 1/2 hours. We continued on to Wolston completing the next 4 miles in 1 hour 10. So by 10:20 we had 18.2 miles under our belt. Things were looking good and we continued a mix of jogging and walking through to Brinklow. 22.6 miles done and things were beginning to ache but we continued. Jogging was getting harder but then so was walking,Tony was quiet and although telling me all was OK he looked in pain. His heels were very painful and he tried carrying on running on his toes but this strained his calves. Rich Clarke (SFA) passed us just as we left the canal and Peter P (Massey’s) not long after. 5 miles from Bedworth Tony made the decision that he was going to retire. I was torn between being selfish and trying to convince him to finish even though I knew he was suffering, retiring with him even though I wanted to finish or continuing on my own. At 2:10 we arrived in Bedworth 30.8 miles done and Tony retired. He told me to continue, I set off feeling quite low it was sad leaving the checkpoint and I did not see another competitor for about 30 mins. I continued trying to jog and run to checkpoint 6 34.4 miles done just under 6 to do. Occasionally a runner would pass me, sometimes I even managed to jog behind them for a short time. Eventually I got to checkpoint 7 having got through Corley Moor without too much trouble 37.3 miles complete 2.7 to go. Managed to do some jogging and on reaching the road at eaves green was met by Carol Martin and Roxy who helped me through the final stint pushing me on to run to the finish. 40 miles done in 10 hours 50, first thought never again, second thought next year sub 10 hours!! Thanks to John and Anne Aylmer, Bob Rainsley and Sheila Dunn for the welcome at the finish. And yes I do now want to get the free t shirt when you complete 10 challenges, only 7 more to go.
Race report by Ruth Mahon