Running the Clarendon Way

203Went to Winchester yesterday to start my third Clarendon Way Marathon. This is a mainly off-road race from Winchester to Salisbury following the Clarendon Way footpath. Having finished in just under three hours (and second place) last year it was going to be interesting to see how I faired 12 months on.

The race didn’t get off to a particularly good start. There were long queues for registration which made for a shortened warm-up. The start was followed immediately by the first of many squally showers. It was still quite warm but they ensured that the already muddy paths stayed that way.

My legs were aching, even up the first climb beside Badger Farm, which didn’t bode well (although often I seem to have surprisingly good runs even when this is the case). Last year I was in the lead at the mid-point of Broughton. This year I had no idea how many people were in front of me and was about five minutes down on last year’s time.

I was starting to fade as the half-marathon runners joined us for the steep climb out of Broughton. At one point I was even reduced to walking, albeit just for a few steps. This year I’d decided to carry some energy gels and that staple of the long-distance runner: jelly babies. These helped keep me going although there was, by now, a steady stream of half-marathoners passing me.

Apparently one Salisbury resident had complained about all the runners spoiling his Sunday once a year and, as a result, the finish has moved to the leisure centre. This meant that, not only has the course length stretched to 27 miles, but we had the pleasure of wading through an underpass knee-deep in rain water!

The result? A finish time of around 3:17 and, depending on whether you believe the scrawled results or Christine’s counting, a position somewhere between fifth and fifteenth. (In keeping with the haphazard nature of the organisation, no sign of any results online yet.) I reckon that’s probably about ten minutes slower for the new course and conditions and another ten for lack of training over the past year.

One Response to “Running the Clarendon Way”

  1. Dave says:

    Results are finally up. Never trust a mathematician when it comes to simple counting. I was 5th with an official time of 3.17.49, a mere 25 minutes behind the winner! Congratulations to Janet Lawrence (partner of one of my colleagues) who met her target of under four hours and finished as second senior lady.