So named after my friend for many years Stuart Wild who died 4 years ago a short while after doing his 100th marathon at Snowdon and where I presented him with his 100 Marathon Club 100 medal. Stuart ran for Black Pear joggers and before them he was with Worcester AC. So this run is an annual event and a fitting tribute.
However Stuart my old mate you’ve a lot to answer for after today’s killer.
The venue had to be changed (and we only got emails to tell us about this on Friday). The reason? Travellers and gypsies have made their new home on the course of the original run! This course was a 10 lapper but Black Pear were determined not to cancel the event so they found a new trail route in Blackpole not too far from the original site at the Perdiswell LC. They had to cut grass, hedges, clear paths in woods etc on the new 1.3 mile lap. BUT it was now a 20 lapper!!!
Pity Masseys didn’t do it as it was a mix of runs-all over the marathon distance. There were 37 of us Lone Runners who did the full, Teams of 2 doing a half each and Relay Teams of 5 also doing the full at 4 laps ach runner. Also a Wild Mile for kids. It was fancy dress (not for me) and many “non club runners” did the relays.
So there were loads of runners all over each lap overtaking you, running towards you on the return parts and as Dave and Anne-Marie said (they did a half each last year) it was probably the friendliest event anywhere. I concur having done 2 now. Everyone plus the marshals chatted to you, encouraged you, wished you well etc. Oh so friendly. BUT oh so tough. However as the teams finished it became a bit lonely on my last 4 laps-nothing new there do I hear you say Martin Judge?
There was not one inch of flat ground on the 1.3 mile lap. It was on grass, playing fields at the college, in woods and even the tarmac tracks were anything but smooth. However the real killer was that there were 3 small but steep hills on each lap plus a long one of a few hundred yards. So the maths is simple. 20*4=80 hills (trust me I’m an accountant), plus the swelteringly hot sunny day. But at least I ran (ran??) every inch of the way-no walking.
Imagine the mind factor when you still have 15 laps to go! Well eventually it was 19 done and those 4 hills just once more. Ughh. At least there were 5 behind me when I finished to collect the medal, goodie bag, chocolates, iced lollies and a large container of fresh strawberries.
Also as you passed the finish line at the end of each lap the goodies, drinks, gels, applause etc were in plentiful abundance.
Fabulous day so diary date it for next year I suggest.
So next Sat’s Swiss Alpine marathon in Davos at c7200 feet should be a doddle! Just one 10 mile hill to the top of the Passes at Sertig and Scarletta.
Massey Ferguson time:
Dave Phillips: 6 hrs 19 mins.
Report by Dave Phillips.