Yesterday was my last day off plan, my last chance to be as active as I liked…
…so I spent it running up and down a concrete sea wall on what was, quite possibly, the windiest day of the month.
I had a blast.
The marathon was organised by Saxon Shore (aka Saxons, Vikings and Normans, aka Traviss and Rachel), who have a reputation for putting on friendly, low-key events with great goody bags and better medals. To be honest, I’m more than capable of buying my own crisps, biscuits, chocolate and cider, so I’m not particularly fussed about the goody bag side of things, and all I ever do with medals is hang them over the banister, so that’s much less of a draw than it used to be*, but friendly and low-key are just my cup of tea, and I wasn’t disappointed.
I’d signed up for the Janathoners (Cathy had suggested it, but hadn’t been able to fit in the training, so came along to support instead. Cassie was running her first marathon, Rachel was PB hunting, and Helen was cementing her return to marathon running) but as it turned out, I also knew some of the runners through parkrun tourism and yet more through Centurion events, so each of the laps went something like this:
House… Jon… Gate… Rachel… Jools… Tower… Cassie and Helen… Kat… Rock… Ulen… Fi… Weird Structure… Ruth… Brick Wall… Jon… Weird Structure… Rachel… Jools… Rock… Cassie… Helen… Tower… Gate… Kat… House… Ulen… Flag pole… Fi… Ruth…Turnaround point.
The landmarks broke each leg up into bite-sized chunks (though I kept losing track of whether or not I’d passed the rock), and looking out for familiar faces (including a number of others that I’d met at dinner the night before, or simply got to know in-race) relieved the monotony even further. Add to that waves and brooding seas and I was in heaven, at least on the wind-assisted-running-goddess outs of each leg. The wind-resisted backs were another matter entirely, and put paid to any hopes I had of an impressive finish…
…but I’m still strangely drawn to the idea of a return to Dymchurch for the Dymchurch Double in January.
* 100-mile one day buckles are a different matter entirely