Monday, June 4, 2018

149 and feeling fine!

Since finishing my 100 mile Challenge back in March I've just been coasting along, knocking out a marathon here and there and just generally enjoying running in our beautiful countryside.  Then yesterday I realised I'm nearly at 150 marathons.  How on earth did that happen?  I still can't quite believe it!  I think it just goes to show that you can complete the seemingly impossible with hard work and determination.

I hadn't intended to run yesterdays event but then sneaked in at the last minute because it honoured the brave men who fought for the freedom we enjoy nowadays.

Last month it was 75 years since the Dambusters raid and yesterday we had the opportunity to run along the coast by Reculver beach where the devices were tested all those years ago.  One of the so-called 'bouncing bombs' was washed up on the beach recently but it has been removed now so we didn't get to see it.  It would have been perfect if a Lancaster had flown past - we do sometime see one at home en-route to various air shows.

We had a very early start at 7am which meant I had to get up at 4am (yikes) and I left home at 5am as it's quite a hike to that part of Kent.  Thankfully the traffic was light at such a ridiculous hour and so I arrived in plenty of time so took a few photos before the start:

I was reminded of Castles in the Sand by Jimi Hendrix.  This is just an instrumental version as I can't find the original which is a shame.

I love the big skies and amazing light in this part of the Kent coast.  It's no wonder JMW Turner spent so much time in Margate.  Throughout the day there were times when you could hardly tell where the sky ended and the sea began.  It was beautiful.

At the pre-race briefing there were the usual celebrations - a 200th marathon, someone heading toward their 100th etc etc.  The local council had insisted on the early start because it gets very busy along the paths and they wanted the race to be finished asap.  It's a popular place for tourists, dog walkers, families walking, cyclists etc and even thought the paths are quite wide it can be tricksy at times (especially when you get people walking 4 abreast or cyclists in small groups coming at eachother from different directions!

The route was 2 x out-and-back stretches of 3.8 miles followed by 2 x 9.28 mile loops up past Reculver Towers and a bit further (fabulous views from the top!).

About 1/2 mile in and focused on trying not to go out too fast.  Neil, in the red top, is just behind me there but soon came level and we ran the first 2 shorts loops together.

The tide was going out when we set off.

At the end of each lap we got our cards clipped but after 2 laps Neil headed into the aid station whilst I carried on as I didn't want to stop.

As well as the glorious views there was plenty to look at en-route including these two alternative modes of pedal-powered transport:

I resisted taking too many photos for as long as I could but  on my last long lap I just had to take some more:

There was a Junior Parkrun taking place on this slope and it was lovely watching the little ones push that little bit harder when I shouted "well done!" to them.


I trotted home in 5:11:42 and was quite happy with that on such a hot day.

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