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New Forest Marathon

Listed by zingy
, New Milton BH25 UK
11 Entrants Club PB SB Pred Time WAVA
Anna Finn VEGAN RUNNERS UK 3:40:54 3:55:11 4:17:46 52.54
Deadbeat 100 Marathon Club, Wimborne AC, Zoom Tri Club 3:05:30 3:52:40 3:52:40 55.02
Fuzzy Sandhurst Joggers 4:48:08 4:48:08 4:48:08 43.38
ogee 100 Marathon Club, South London Harriers 3:10:24 3:26:00 4:05:00 51.46
plodding hippo 100 Marathon Club 4:16:46 5:09:22 5:44:01 42.80
RunGaryRun FERC 3:35:31 3:49:01 4:00:00 4:01:29 53.47
Shades Maverick Runners 4:24:02 4:59:21 4:59:21 53.42
SteveT Hart Road Runners 2:49:53 3:27:30 3:15:00 3:31:48 60.97
supersquirrel Chippenham Harriers 3:46:00 3:54:00 4:30:00 4:26:00 47.73
teuliere Unaffiliated 5:48:56 5:48:56 5:48:56 49.56
UltraCas Unaffiliated 4:59:00 4:59:00 5:12:00 44.60

This event is listed on these dates:

plodding hippo
New Forest Marathon 17/09/06
Uncharted territory
Fourth marathon in four weeks--------

I was distracted by ny husbands Birthday which was the day before.So we travelled up to stay in a posh hotel in Bournemouth by way of celebration(I had to make amends somehow).There was a lovely meal out where I avoided pasta and had 2 fish courses.And a few drinks-but not too many!
The breakfast choices the next day were marvellous-except I could only eat boring stuff.What a shame!

Slugsta picked me up from the hotel and we had a painless journey down to New Milford.I had arranged with the RO to start half an hour earlier-with the half marathon, so I wouldn’t fall foul of the 5 hour cut-off.My number was duly marked with a big red pen, and then it was just a case of waiting for the start.
I always seem to end up talking to first timers at these events-and today was no exception.This time , it was a lady whose first half was supposed to be the GNR two weeks hence-but she had got a surprise entry for the NF.I hope she did well!
A tall gentleman then approached me, and quietly said”my wife says she knows you from the internet”.It was Teulieres, who had done a bit of detective work to find out what I loooked like!.She had an early start too.The rest of the time before the start was spent sending frantic texts to my friend Limper, who I was supposed to be meeting up with-at the baggage tent.Well, I didn’t know there were three of them!I manged to meet up with her at last, plus a few other forumites, and then it was time to head to the back of the field.The temperature was steadily climbing, and I knew this was going to be tough.
My aim was simply to try and run 9, or 10 miles without walking.After that, it would be a case of finishing-hopefully within the cut off.I didn’t hold out much hope for this on account of the temperature though.

Off we go then.About a minute or two to corss the start line, then try to settle into some sort of rhythm.The legs obediently settled into plodding without a protest.I tried to keep the brakes on a bit-so I could run for longer, and was mostly managing 11 minute miling.Even with this, I was overtaking within the first half a mile.The miles seemed to really drag, and I tried to distract myself by mentally calculating what percentage of the run I had done.At 3.75 miles, the half and full routes diverged, and very quickly there were only a few of us running.I could see Teulieres ahead, run walking , and looking strong.Along a main road with a big queue of traffic, I almost had to stop completely as a lady in a red car tried unsuccessfully to do a 33 point turn(no, that’s not a typo).Grwoling under my breath, I just ran in front of her car and ignored her-at least I didn’t have to stop.
Around six miles in, and the leaders of the marathon started to catch us.Now, I do love to see the elites in a looped race, but I have never started early, and didn’t know how I would react to being overtaken all the way along the course.
The first threee leaders ignored me, I expect they were concentrating on running, but thereafter I had a continuous stream of “well dones,” and “keep goings”.Some sounded incredulous-as thoguh they couldn’t believe a plump 11 minute miler was ahead of them, others seemed to know about the early start.The eventual ladies winner(Heather) made a point of saying hello to me-though I have seen her flying round at a couple of ultras this year, so maybe she recognised me.My South Downs marathon T shirt attracted quite a few comments too!.We hit 8 miles , and I started to feel awful as usual. It didnt help that there was a short sharp incline just before 8 miles.but now there were lots of people overtaking me, and calling out to me.I couldn’t walk, not really, and so I gritted my teeth and carried on.
And then the overtakers thinned out a little.I guess the sub 4 ( and faster) hour crowd had gone by-and there was a natural gap.I managed to hang on until 10.4 miles before the body insisted on walking-I cant be too displeased with this, as I was running outside my comfort zone in the heat-probably pulled along by seeing all the proper runners overtake me.So-10 miles in 1.51,followed by a 13 minute mile while I walked and ran.
The only pity about running like this was that I missed most of the gorgeous scenery.I was subliminally aware of it, but was concentrating too much on the run to take it in.Now, at 13-14 min miling, I had a chance to take it all on board.the trees, the foals, the rolling fields-----
Half marathon point in 2.32, 15 miles in 2.59
Well, in this heat, it wasn’t going to be pretty, but it would do.
Id overtaken Teulieres aound mile 7, but now she steamed up behind me, run walking strongly, and overtook me.Ahead, I could see others starting to walk.Now we are in the gritty keep going stage of the marathon.Roll on 18 miles, and the second wind.
By 17 miles-the dreaded stomach cramps started.Unfortunately,I was in a really posh residential area, with a bit of local supoort from some teenage girls.And not much in the way of bush cover!!!!!!!!!!
The sweep vehicle passed me at this point, and asked if I was ok to go on.I smiled sweetly and gave then thumbs up(3.5 hours my time, 3 hours into the official marathon time).It didn’t bother me again.
I suppose I improvised somewhere-and that did mean a 15 minute mile.
As mile 18 approached, the clouds came over, and the temperature dropped.How nice!Out onto a main road, and then there was Teulieres again, checking her blood sugar at a First aid station.She’d slowed down a little but seemed ok, and so I went on ahead.A bike pulled up and asked if I was “Plodding Hippo”.We had a bit of a laugh about that, and he sped off, supoorting his wife on the course.And then I saw a familiar figure waving frantically to me from a grassy bank.It was BBH-with Hippo marshamallows and a friendly smile, suppoting the race.So, ok, I had a bit of a longer walk that I wanted to, but its not all about time!!. It was really good to see her.
I was still being overtaken, but in dribs and drabs now, and a lot were walk running.This must have been the sub 5 hour crew.I clocked mile 20 in 4.12-not great, but it will do.
And then I caught up with a lady who clocked my number and looked absolutely delighted to see me.!
This was Anonemice, with whom I had had quite a correspondence on the forums.
She looked physically fine, in fact, probably in better shape than I was, but was having some mental anxieties about completing the distance.Since I wasn’t feeling totally appalling, I was able to offer some encouragement as we ran walked along together.We even overtook the odd person!I suspected that soon she would be heading off into the distance, as she seemed in very good physical shape, and my guts were giving me problems again-predictably in a residential area.
Shades sailed by around this time too, looking cool as usual.a marathon isnt the same unless I see her bum disappearing into the distance(only joking Shades).

I had to nip up an alley by mile 22 to relieve my poor guts, and urged Anonemice to go on ahead, which she did reluctantly.
Thus relieved, I shot out of the side alley to be confronted with a rather nice downhill

WAHAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!

Ahead of me were Tracey and Carol, and Anonemice
I yelled at them to get running, why waste a downhill

And then it was myself and Anonemice to the end
Now, ok, I COULD have gone a bit faster, talke a couple of minutes off my finishing time.I felt ok, and the legs only ached a little.But Anonemice was suffering first time marathon mental wibbles.Even though she was run walking to my instruction between lamp-posts and bushes, and running well, that lass kept telling me she wasnt sure she could do it.To me, it was obvious she would finish, she could still run, and to be honest, she could at that point have walked to the end and still done under 6 hours.But its all too easy to forget your first marathon.
You are in unknown territory, you don’t know if the burning in your thighs is normal, or whether you are about to collapse.It isnt like London, where the crowds and sight of hundreds of people in front of and behind you MAKE you believe in the finish.
And I remembered my first
And all those where I despaired of finishing
A friendly voice then means a lot.Time for me to be the friendly voice.
And amazingly-I had enough left to give to someone else at the end of a marathon.I had breath to speak.I delved in my brain to find encouraging things to say.I didn’t have to selfishly cling to my own survival , as I so often do during marathons.I had enough left to help someone else-and by god, does a few minutes extra time matter in those circumstances?Ive only managed that twice before-once in FLM 2004, and more recently in the Neolithic marathon.
So we ran and we walked.we eked out those last two(non scenic-pity) miles
We even managed a sprint finish, and were announced in!

5.44.01
Im happy with that!
SteveT
Really suffered in the heat, and I don't think I was alone, but at least if gives me a target to beat.
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