There's nothing wrong with my puff, never felt even remotely out of breath and indeed kept chuntering along talking to Radio 4, until the advent of Any Questions, as I've mentioned before, meant I turned the radio onto 6 Music rather than thrown it into the Trent.
It was a tough, tough course, which would have been tough this time of year in the dry, let along after a wet November. I would say that 80% of the route was off road, and an awful lot of that off road was through mud!
The first lap went fine, and although tucked towards the back of the field, I kept in touch with a group of runners and kept myself going by nibbling jelly babies and carob energy bars given to me by the enthusiastic, if no doubt shivering wet and cold marshalls. But my various muscular niggles and sciatica began kicking in after about 7 miles and towards the end of the second loop of the muddiest, grimmest section of the route I was nearly bent double and so tempted to bale after the first lap - which would have been a half marathon - I had to all but yell at myself to keep going.
But after necking many pills on the curious 100 metre section the council insisted we had to walk on, I began to forget my back a little and keep on trotting in, slower and slower, but still running. And that's how I carried on, for the next two hours, eating sweeties and drinking energy drinks, but it was by now a very lonely run; indeed by the time I got on to the final loop of mud, I could see that I was a kilometre behind those ahead, and a kilometre ahead of those behind.
At one point I thought I'd just make 5 hours, but in the end I couldn't give a damn and just trotted round to get 5 hours 14. It'll do nicely, but I wouldn't recommend a rookie like me to run on that course, it is very very tough and more of a cross country trail run than a road race.
So, some pictures.
All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 28.11.15
|Gathering for 10am start. It was freezing|
|Bar 9 gave out loads of these carob bars. Rather nice too.|
|Huddling for warmth|
|Milk bottle legs|
|I am indeed a number.|
|11km fun run start.|
|Off they go|
|An idea of the mud most of the way round|