I read all the reviews on Runners World for last year – which mainly highlighted the rain and the hills. So it rained and there were hills this year too. Course was pretty, may even have been scenic but visibility was limited due to the rain. I know it is silly racing on August Bank Holiday, but even considering the high likelihood of rain that the date confers it was truly impressive.
The parking field was too wet to park on, so cars were either parked perpendicularly on the verge or in the farm yard (tip -go for the farm yard if you are in this situation in the future). Not being able to see how much space there was in the yard, I plumped for the steeply sloping verge. Luckily I am a bad driver with very low driving esteem, so I gingerly stuffed Madame C in place nose-first. The two gents on either side went for the reversing at a smart pace option, and managed to ground the front ends of their cars – one of them was still trying to figure out how to get it out when I left.
The race started wet, dried out a little then just turned into torrents from about mile 8 onwards. I had had enough of the whole rain thing by then and just wanted to go home. I don’t mind running in the rain, and it wasn’t cold, but the road was mostly invisible under water and everything I was wearing was just so heavy by that point. It was just a sleevless top and shorts, but when everything is waterlogged and the rain is still pounding you start to feel your clothes just dragging with the weight.
A man pointed out a kite on an overhead phone line for me, it was actually a grumpy woodpigeon, but it was a nice thing to do anyway. The marshalls were, without exception lovely and jolly; they had even worked hard to stop the jelly babies from turning into soup (nothing sadder than jelly baby soup in a wet race). I’m not sure, but I got the impression that all the roads were closed, I only saw two cars anyway.
Not a record breaking time, I felt I was going faster than I actually was, but I would certainly do it again. It reminded me of the Tunbridge Wells Half, but without the constant argy-bargy of the traffic. One niggle though – if it is pouring with pigging rain, please don’t stuff race fliers under people’s wipers – they turn into this:
and piss people off. Just give them out another day.