They called this the 3H marathon. Why? I hear you ask. H is for Hot and H is for Hilly. That’s only 2Hs isn’t it? Yes but it’s a 2 lapper and with 7 hills in the last 5 miles of each lap that makes 14 hills in addition to those in the first part of each lap. So there are 2 lots of Hs.
So the equation is: H+H+H = 26.2 = 5:25.
Loads of runners assembled at West Park for the full, half, 10k, 3k walk, wheelchairs, cyclists and kids mini run on a hot day that got very hot later on. The course is surprisingly scenic as it takes you round the edge of the town with several off road trails along the canal, in parks and on closed roads for much of the route.
The trouble was that at the end of lap one, most of the runners (half and 10k) pulled into the finish just a few yards from the split off and it left the marathon guys and gals to plod on alone seeing the finish line close by. Heart breaking indeed. Then it was lonely as we were on our own and not too many with me. Guess they were all ahead!!
But those hills in the last 5 miles of lap 2 were real killers and that’s where I overtook a load who were resting and hardly walking.
Finally the finish came into sight again where we got our T shirts, medal and goodie bag etc. Those of us at the back of the pack got several bags each as they had a surplus that they had to get rid of. So there’s my excuse for loitering with intent!
Finally thanks to Massey’s Anna Roden who popped up on each lap to cheer me on and take my “slow motion photo”.
I did my 1st Wolves in 1982 and have done them all since although there was a gap of a few years without the event. Also in the ‘80s I ran several miles with Jimmy Saville who used to do this event. Then when he offered the kiss of life to anyone who collapsed in the heat you should have seen my speed increase dramatically!! Happy days.
At least the hills will be good grounding for this Sun’s very hilly Ashbourne half in the Peak District.
Dave Phillips 5:25
Race report by Dave Phillips.