I'll let the captions tell the story:
|I've just spotted Ant crouching by the side of the path and he's clicking away at me like one of the paparazzi|
|He continued to click away and apologised to the 2 men behind saying "sorry guys, she's famous" (silly boy!)|
|As you'd expect they then asked why and he said " she used to be a Guinness World Record holder" and I shouted back "still am actually!"|
|Waving bye-bye to the naughty Ant!|
This of course lead to a chat with the 2 men who asked if Ant was my official photographer who follows me around.
I managed to keep my face straight and replied that yes indeed he's always around when I'm running (tee hee!) before I said that actually Ant and his team spend hours out and about at races taking photos of runners and that they should buy his photos. They then pushed on ahead of me. I get overtaken on all the downhills and flat bits but then I often overtake the same people on the uphill bits! I thought I wouldn't see them again but I went past them around 18 miles when they were fading a bit.
Ant's team were out and about all around the route and they really deserve medals for their endurance. They have to sit still in one place for hours upon end; the time limit is 9 hours so there are walkers coming in long after the runners have finished. You can imagine how tough that can be on a cold, wet and windy day. Top marks to all your team Ant xxx.
|One of the slightly flinty downhill bits - not sure where it was, they all look the same after a while|
|Behind me you can see the the Litlington White Horse by the Cuckmere valley|
|Ant used this photo in his blog captioned 'Suzie (sp!) receives a guard of honour'. The photo below that one on his blog shows my friend Ruth lying on her back at the same spot. He also took loads of photos of her struggling to her feet!|
The men then both did a Mobot and Ant commented they were the first to do one that day. As I'd never done one before I decided I would too.
|I'm gonna do one too|
|I did it!|
|"The hills are alive………"|
|Bye Ant and thanks|
In this next two I really am on the home straight. It's a flat bit for a while and then it goes down hill again. To my left in the first photo are a couple of walkers who I chatted with for a few minutes. They spotted my ARUK vest and wanted to talk about a new initiative to pay GPs £55 for every diagnosis of dementia. We all agreed that the idea of incentivising something that should be part of good practice is just wrong - good GPs will be doing it anyway and the bad ones will just make a diagnosis of dementia without checking that the symptoms presented relate to dementia and could not be anything else. I would much rather the money be used for research into the disease and it was interesting to get the reaction of people who had no experience of dementia in their lives.
So here I am, sprinting (ish) towards the finish line having just come very carefully down the hill we went up at the start. It was so very slippery and I hate going downhill anyway so I was extra careful.
Make no mistake, this is a tough trail marathon and certainly not for the faint-hearted, but it still remains my favourite off-road marathon. There is such wonderful camaraderie amongst participants and people come back year after year.
So that is definitely the end of my 2014 challenge. Watch out for the launch of my next one at the start of November.