|Lonely (Photo: Dee Rand)|
A 6am start got me the 2 hrs drive to Samphire Hoe without incident and we were checked in and ready to go in plenty of time. A few presentations (including Philip Rand's world record 200th) and a very emotional speech by co-race director Rachel and we walked the 50m to the start. Some serving paratroopers had flown in from Germany and one had lost his great grand father at the battle of Somme. A few words from him followed by the last post and a minutes silence and we were sent off to the now familiar trench whistles. It was freezing.
|New WR holder|
|First outing of the shirt|
I was wearing my newish Hoka's and had very sore feet during the first loop. It got so bad that I had to stop at the end of the loop and change into my Asics. This made my decision there and then that I may not be a Hoka's fan any more. I also picked up a pair of gloves that stayed with me all day. In fact I also stopped later for a hat change. It was freezing (particularly into the wind).
|Ni well represented|
Meanwhile I was also encouraging Philip to do his second ever ultra in a week (after Tollymore) but he seemed happy with marathon and stopped. Also there running well was Noel Keenan who did a swift 50K before stopping. He will be back next summer to tackle 27 laps and his first 100 miles. I have no idea how I managed 27 laps of this course back in July.
My own race was very uneventful and even though the weather badly deteriorated with biting winds and freezing rain for an extended period I ploughed on. I saw a lot (more than usual) go out for 8 laps but most finished at that. I was determined to run the whole time and easily got out on lap 9 before the cut off. One of the paratroopers had also gone out for 9 and was just ahead but I don't think any other ventured out.
I eventually came in for 34.5 miles and 4th overall out of 152 finishers. Nothing dramatic, nothing stressful. I dropped Craig and Philip back to Gatwick before hitting off to Hampshire for the evening.
Photo's courtesy of Dee rand and Philip McEvoy
Strava stats for the day.