4th November 2012
I had a quick look at the weather forecast on the day before the Sunday run and it said 6°C and 95% chance of heavy rain. And they were spot on! We drove through sodden roads to arrive in Marlow at 8.30. My sister who lives nearby came to wish us well. Actually the rain pretty much stopped as we started running but the roads were badly flooded. At one point we were literally knee deep in water and I am not exagerating. To begin with many runners were trying to keep their feet dry. I’ve learnt that this is a totally pointless exercise and decided to make use of the stream of water down the edge of the road to get clear of a jam of runners.
The route is all on tarmac so I wore my trainers but sadly Nike trainers aren’t designed for running underwater and soon the padding inside became bunched and lumpy. It made patches of the run pretty uncomfortable. The water was quite cold too and it was possibly this combination of fast hill running then cold water that caused Liam’s calf to cease up after about eight miles. This is home territory for Liam and he had been looking forward to the run for a long time. On a good day Liam can run the route in 1hr 35 minutes. It must have been a bitter blow when he realised that he couldn’t run through the pain and would have to retire. St Johns Ambulance looked after him and he got a lift back to base. I can’t understand how I missed him as I ran past but even stranger was that John said he overtook me a couple of times and I overtook him a couple of times too. The fact that I didn’t notice him at all was extraordinary as I was aware of many of the runners around especially those who got past me and there were a lot of them!
The route takes you through lovely undulating Thames countryside. It is more hilly than the Henley Half but none of the hills were real stingers, just a bit of a slog. It made it a slightly slower run than Henley and I think John and I completed it in around 1hr50 minutes with Grit a bit after. I will try to find the results and some better pictures when they are released.
Once we were all assembled back in the sports hall we were kindly invited to Liam and Sarah’s house for a massive lunch and a few beers. Heaven.
Update: Well I now realise why I can’t remember passing John, it was because he got in 7 seconds in front of me! My result was 1hr 53mins and 15 seconds which isn’t too brilliant but the course was really slow because of all the water. Here is a little video from Bucks Free Press from the winner.
Here are the results:
and here is a great Youtube Video with some intersting shots of the flood at about 8minutes in and some interesting shots of certain people walking up the hill around 19 minutes in!