Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Marathon 80

Now there's a title I never dreamt I'd type!

This marathon was at pretty Minnis Bay but using a slightly different route to last year taking in an off-road section towards the remains of Reculver Castle.  The weather forecast was for wall-to-wall sunshine so I packed my suncream and headed out bright and early for the 7am start.

I stopped to take this as I left our village as it looked so beautiful

My journey was going very well until I reached a railway crossing which was being repaired. Unfortunately the repairs had gone on longer than they'd planned and it was still closed which meant I had to double back and find an alternate route - there were no diversion signs in the direction I was heading so I was very lucky to find a helpful dog-walker who pointed me in the right direction. This added an extra 15 minutes onto my journey time and meant that I arrived with just enough time to phone home, get my contact lenses in, slather on some suncream and sort myself out before the race briefing.

When we set off at 7am it was already rather warm and so I started near the back and settled into a nice gentle pace (I do not do well in the heat!). The route was 2 x short loops along the sea wall in one direction then 2 x longer loops in the opposite direction and heading up a couple of grassy slopes past the remains of the castle.

After the first loop the sun disappeared, the wind started up and a mist shrouded everything from view so I didn't take any photos for ages as you couldn't really see much which was very disappointing.

It turned into one of those head-down-and-just-get-on-with-it type of runs for several hours and I did feel rather cold at one point. I enjoyed exchanging banter with Emine, who was also just wearing vest and shorts, and we declared that it was summer and we were jolly well going to enjoy the weather in true Brit style even though we were cold! Never mind, there were lots of friendly runners and people out walking their dogs to chat with.

Reculver Castle always seemed such a long way off and I chuckled at some pavement graffiti which read "Reculver can't be far can it?" and "It never seems to get any closer does it?".

Although I didn't take any photos of the grassy section I really enjoyed it especially as there were Skylarks around and I even spotted a white egret across the marshland.

I liked this Visitor Centre, especially the bird stickers on the windows which stops birds flying into the glass

Look how dreary it looks here on my penultimate lap........

.........but on my final lap the sky cleared and the sun came out to play (can you spot me in the distance?)

Heading back down towards the seawall on my last lap (thanks for the photos Graham)

3 miles from the finish and it's really rather warm!

When I was 1 mile from the finish,  Mike phoned to check I was OK as it was baking hot at home and had been all morning. He couldn't believe that it had been so different for us!

I was pleased to finish in 5:15:51 (ooh, palindrome numbers for the minutes and seconds!!!) and was presented with this fabulous medal:

After a bit of eating and chatting I headed back to the car and phoned Mike to say I was leaving and I'd be about 1.5 hours. Ha, that didn't go to plan! I reached the section where the diversion was in place in a very short time but then spent 45 minutes sitting going nowhere then edging forward  a few feet every so often in a tiny country lane as there had been an accident and no-one could move far until the Police had sorted it out.

After that there was slow-moving traffic for another 5 miles so by the time I got to about 20 miles from home my legs were feeling a bit crampy and so I stopped off at a Garden Centre to stretch them out (how's that for a good excuse to shop!) and phoned home to let Mike know I would be longer than expected.

I finally arrived home after 2.5 hours, whereupon I jumped into the bath for a nice soak before heading outside to enjoy the remainder of the afternoon with Mike & Tilly on the sun-loungers together with a little something sparkly to celebrate.

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