Look at those two, if you had told them that a few years after this was taken they would have a joint hobby of running, that they would spend a lot of their spare time doing it and that they were both capable of running marathons they would have laughed at you!
I always write about the races from my perspective, as that’a all I can really do, give my own opinion on the races I run, how I felt doing so and my own performance, and I don’t think I spend enough time saying quite how proud of this boy I am. He has basically lost a whole other adult in weight, he works so hard to improve his running and has far surpassed me. This year, having never done the distance before, he has run a marathon a month. In this one he was even the third fastest to run the marathon distance. He is simply amazing and my daily inspiration to keep pushing myself, even if it is a little irritating that I’m currently injured and resting and he’s still out smashing 10k in his lunch breaks not to mention how much faster than me he is now!
So now to business. This race is currently up there as one of my favourite runs! It was on a Monday, which is a little random, but I have Mondays off and Phil had some holiday to use up, and it was only an hour away so we signed up, and it was well attended for a random work day.
This race was a 4.4 mile loop, which was nice in itself as the past few lapped races we have run have been out and backs which can get a bit dull. It was on trail in Kings Wood in Ashford where we have done a run before, but this one was less off trail than the one we did here before, sticking to the woodland paths. I chose my new Inov-8 Terraclaws and they were just perfect for the job, not too aggressive on the grip for the hard packed trails and grippy enough for the short muddy section to keep me on my feet so I wasn’t losing time in road trainers slipping about.
I started off feeling really strong, my knee pain was very low, and the trails were lovely. Several up and downhill sections, and plenty of flat running in between through woodland trails. The sun was out, it was warm and just a lovely way to spend the day. I started out near the front of the pack, and was “playing tag” with another lady who I think was a bit injured so she would have taken me easily on a good day (then again i’m injured too, so maybe not), she came in seconds before me on the first lap, but to my surprise rang the bell to bow out, and easily taking fastest lady to do 1 lap. I continued onto my second lap still feeling really good and fresh, I felt like I was running at a pace I could maintain for ages, and I was now 1st lady with no competition, there was no one else near me!
I actually started to worry that I had missed a turning at one point, the faster guys were well ahead (including Phil) and I couldn’t see anyone behind me. I even slowed down to grab a quick pic! Thankfully I saw some guys coming up in the distance so knew I’d not gone wrong and soon saw the next marker. I came in after my second lap and helped myself to some jelly babies from the aid station before setting off for lap 3. This would get me a half marathon and was my aim for the day, pain allowing, but I was still feeling strong and considering a 4th lap as I was really enjoying the running, but at 11.5miles, part way through lap 3 the pain caught up with me, I had to slow down and started to struggle. I knew it would be stupid to continue. I finished my lap, and took 1st lady for the half marathon. I was sad that I couldn’t continue, just because I had enjoyed the course so much.
Phil was already out on lap 4 when I finished, so I got changed and started eating my body weight in cookies at the aid station while waiting for him to come back in. He continued to run getting his lap count up to 6 to get a full marathon, and the race director allowed me the honer of giving him his medal when he was finished.
Once Phil was done, changed and able to drive again we headed for a cheeky Nandos before returning home and getting started on our, yet again phenomenal, goodie bags from the race. We will certainly be back to do more events put on by these guys, we had a wonderful day. Check out their events here.