The Flitch Way Marathon started at The Discovery Centre, Great Notley and was an out and back with the turn around point being just past Takeley. I train on the Flitch Way regularly and was looking forward to a familiar run.
I enjoyed the look of disbelief on many faces as Lindley said the finish would be at the top of the hill at The Discovery Centre during the run brief, not sure if they thought he was joking or not!! I had known in advance and as our parkrun route takes in the hill and I do my hill training there I was not too worried!
The run started well although I probably went out a bit quick but I was happy and enjoying the day so just went with it. I looked forward to the checkpoints as I knew I had friends volunteering and it is always good to see a friendly face and receive some encouragement.
The going was pretty firm on the way out, a few icy patches, a bit of mud but all runnable and I reached half way and the turnaround point in 2:10 all was going well. I was struggling a little with my stomach and feeling a little queasy but otherwise all good.
Going back my pace dropped more than I would have liked, my stomach just wasn't right but I made the decision not to stop eating and drinking as I normally do if feeling sick and just kept with my practised eating schedule, this didn't make me feel any worse and kept my energy levels up. It made me smile that the only times I thought I was going to be sick was running through Dunmow and at Rayne Station both places where there were the most people around! Fortunately it didn't happen and I managed a steady plod back to Great Notley. I knew as long as I kept running albeit slowly I would make my target time which was between 4:45 and 5 hours. The route had thawed out a little on the way back and the one muddy section was very muddy!
I made it to the top of the hill to claim my medal and t-shirt in 4:56 and feel satisfied with a good run. My previous hamstring injury caused me no problems and as this was the furthest I'd run since hurting it at Stor30 it was a great relief.
A big thank you to Lindley and Maxine and all at Challenge Running for another brilliant event. The checkpoints as always were well stocked with all sorts of goodies. For me the fig rolls at CP2 were my favourite! The marshals did a fantastic job in the cold making sure we were well looked after. Would highly recommend this marathon it was the perfect way to end my running year.
Happy new year and happy running xx