Andy Humphries writes:
“I still doubt my own sanity. Why would I spend a night away on my own to run 26.2 miles up and down hills in the mud ? I am committed to running New York in November and thought the Clarendon way would be great training. I might as well do that rather than run a 20 mile or so training run and not even get a bit of bling for my trouble.
Clarendon Way starts in Salisbury and finishes in Winchester. The marathon attracts 400 or so runners and I think this is the fourth one I’ve done. It is very well organised and friendly. It is undulating/ hilly with 2,500 feet of ascent. In the middle of the week, the weather looked awful and was building up excuses to duck out. In fact it improved so on the day conditions were good except earlier rain made the course extremely muddy and slippery in parts.
My plan was to start slow and just keep going. My time would be what my time would be. After all, it was a training run. I started as planned but found it hard for the first four miles. After that I got into my stride and just kept plodding along. I just kept going uphill hill where others were walking. In fact because of the mud the down hill were more tricky. I was loving it. In the 2nd half I was overtaking more and more people. A group of slower runners started an hour earlier so i started to pass them as well. They were also pleasant and encouraging. This had the relaxed feeling of an ultra marathon. At 26.2 miles I felt better than I had at 4 miles. It was one of those days that I could have kept going all day. I really enjoyed it. I think this was my 44th marathon/ ultra and it’s difficult to think of too many i have enjoyed more.
I toyed with the idea of not taking a watch. In the end did but reckon I looked at it on only about 3 occasions. There is definitely a lesson for me which is try to lighten up and enjoy. That’s what I’ll be doing in New York ( as well as enjoying the culture!!).
Of course a marathon wouldn’t be a marathon without falling over! At 14 miles I had just got through a particularly slippy section. In celebration I decided to look up and take in some of the scenery, tripped on a rock and fell onto the only non muddy bit for miles around! Now I have got a hole in my knee the size of a 20 pence piece.
My time was 4 hour 17 mins. That felt pretty good over that course in those conditions and I thought I would have finished higher than 102nd and 14th MV50 (out 50 ish). No matter it was a very successful and enjoyable run. I think I have some of my running mojo back. I know my PBs’s are all a long way behind me and so I’ll just enjoy. When I don’t enjoy I’ll hang up my boots and work on the golf handicap!”
Ed: Well done Andy- you’ll have a great time in New York 😀