Sunday 23 November 2014

Walton Upon Thames

Marathon #74 Walton Upon Thames,  Phoenix riverside marathon 4:43:13

Today was all about finishing and not getting injured and I wasn't too worried about the time. I am going big for my 75th state side next week.

This was the first event that was run by Phoenix Runners from Walton Upon Thames (within the M25 in London). Phoenix runners has been setup by the legend of marathon running Rik Vercoe who boasts a hell of a marathon and ultra CV .

Weir Pub
Walton Upon Thames was very convenient and 37 minutes brought me door to door and event HQ at the Weir pub was very easy to find. I picked up my number in the pub. The marathon was off at 9am and a half marathon was off at 9:15.

As we were on the Thames there was even some who rocked up to the start on their boat (Classy).

The weather forecast was awful and by the time we arrived it was pouring rain. I was huddled with everyone around the pub and heard two people chatting. One relatively young guy was saying he was off to the US to run across
the US, just to tick that box. He may however break his trip and come back to the UK to do 14 marathons in 7 days. In fact if he timed things right he could "knock out" 48 marathons in 29 days in May. Lindsay would be proud of me as I quickly stepped away. It turned out this was Rob Young who is running a marathon every single day for a year and he runs it in a kilt (This looked to get incredibly heavy as the race progressed).

The course was a 5.25km out and back along the tow path. So that would be 4 laps for the marathon. 

At 9am we were off (fairly big crowd). Immediately the problems for the day were obvious. As it had
Waterlogged course
rained for days and as it was currently raining the tow path was waterlogged at best with I would say most of it under water. Getting around the massive puddles proved difficult and by the way back on the first lap everyone was just sloshing straight through them. Trying to avoid them was a mud fest. Some were quite deep and above the shoe.

There were two aid stations at the turnarounds so there was plenty of help and water.

With such a close  course you could watch everyone in the race and encouragement was great.

I clocked just over 2:05 for the first half, running steady. I was paranoid about getting injured and got a big wake up call when I hit a root and went over on my ankle at 4km. But I was able to run it off.
All done with Rik Verco

The rain and puddles and the mud got worse and worse as we went on and I slowed a bit on the second half to come in on 4:43:13. I got a lovely medal from Rik who gave a big shout out to Eimear
and Collette (how many people do you know???).

Garmin gave up today at 4:11

No comments:

Post a Comment