A month ago after a very enjoyable, if slightly undulating, downland romp around Bevendean Down parkrun, I sat in the nearby community-owned pub chatting to Janathoner Tom and his friend Ash.
As we nattered about running, it emerged that Ash was race-director of the relatively new marathon The Moyleman, “an off-road March marathon in the hills around Lewes”, which incorporated sections of the South Downs Way, ended with a beer and had a two-person team relay option (Lewes to Southease and Southease to Lewes).
I was tempted. Very, very tempted. I was also very aware that it was the weekend after my first double marathon weekend, itself a mere fortnight after Seville marathon. A few days later, I was still tempted. I decided to see if I could scare up a relay partner to limit the damage to “just a half”.
Apparently I could, so this morning, a mere hour before the appointed time after a teeny-tiny logistical snafu*, I parked outside Kate and Norm’s house ready to whisk them off to Lewes, where Norm and I were aiming to chase down Kate, who had signed up for the full marathon.
It was fabulous. Beautifully organised, extravagantly signed, friendly, low key and with superb weather. The planned trains between Lewes and Southease proved unnecessary as the relay team picking up their numbers just in front of us were tag-teaming with their car and offered Norm a lift to Southease and me a lift back to Lewes. My mother didn’t bat an eyelid when “meeting me in Southease for a cup of tea” morphed into “meeting me in Southease for a cup of tea before getting a lift back to Lewes with a run-fresh stranger via a quick cheering stop at Glynde”. The bling at the end was a pint glass (full marathon) or a half pint glass (relay runners) rather than a useless, if pretty, medal, and the glass came complete with a token for a free burger and a free pint (or half pint) of beer from the local brewery.
With so many races out there to choose from, it’s rare that I feel the urge to repeat one, but this, like Steyning Stinger, is a gem and I’m tempted, very very tempted, to have a crack at the full marathon next year.
* Karma. I was so busy teasing Norm about remembering to pack his trainers, that I forgot I’d arranged to pick them up at 7.45am for a 10.00am start rather than 6.45am for a 9.00am start. On the plus side, as I waited for the actual appointed hour, I did find a mistake in my Open University assignment, so it’s not all bad.