Chasing Numbers Lucky Dip Marathon
Report Kathryn Woodcock
Last week Steve and I sneaked off to try to tick off my desire to run a marathon before hitting 50 and with only 7 days left to go.
We had started proper marathon training at the end of the spring but my post-hysterectomy belly seriously objected to long runs and got worse rather than better the more we did and the more worried I was about it. Then being away helping care for my Dad through his heart surgery meant that we fell back into standard 25-30 km per week training only.
I still really wanted to do the distance, so I went online and found Saturn Running’s Chasing Numbers Lucky Dip timed challenge event.
It’s a flexible Thursday event that you can do any distance from 5km right up to an Ultra and you can start at whatever time you want, running along the Thames and Runnymede Pleasure Grounds.
I had imagined a pleasant 18C and some light drizzle but then the forecast was for a scorcher.
The earliest start time was moved back to 7am and we knew we would have to get down there as early as possible to try to get it done, so we set off at 5:30am.
We started at 7:45 am and all was good for the first 10km then stomach issues set in.
Thank goodness the race desk and loos were in the middle of the 7km loop so you passed them every 3.5km as I needed that. 3 more visits and by 21km I couldn’t run any more but I was determined to keep on going, striding out as fast as I could.
The 2 sides of the race were very different first through the pleasure grounds along the river up to the Magna Carta tea rooms – I much preferred this side as it is beautiful countryside but it was very open and Steve started calling it Death Valley because of the scorching heat.
The other side was more shady passing the massive Bull Weir Lock down under the motorway and through some woods so Steve preferred it but I didn’t like it as it was more confined and industrial.
The race was run well by the very friendly Saturn Running ladies and there was squash and all manner of drinks and sweets aplenty but nothing with electrolytes in so towards the end our hands were swollen up like bunches of sausages.
We went slightly off route to go to the tearooms in the hope of finding sports drinks but alas no, so we bought water and I raided the condiment shelf for tiny sachets of salt. I think we looked a state as the man behind the till encouraged us to take more saying that we looked like we needed it.
In 30C plus heat we finished the distance and chose the medal with the ‘Its the easiest thing in the world to give up, the hardest to keep going’ ribbon, and got a Full Marathon distance pin.
As race HQ was at the Skyff Club we were extremely grateful to use the showers before the 2 hours back up the motorway again.
So even though it was not how I wanted it to be I was very pleased to cover the distance. I really don’t think I will ever be able to train my intestines; maybe I should try racewalking instead…