Wimborne Athletic Club

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Race report from Cathy Hartle

Well it all started at the WACers Christmas party when my name was pulled out. There was a few months of hard work with an injury scare which kept me out for three weeks. At one point it was very touch and go whether I would be able to take part.

We stayed at a friend's from Serpentine running club (one of their coaches) who lives only ten minutes walk from the start line. I was in the blue start, Mark came with me to the start and had to put up with me moaning as I was very upset to be in pen 5, way back, which was going to mess up my time having to overtake everyone!

Went in, put my bag on the truck, went to my pen, pinching strangers Vaseline on the way, including from some Littledown Harriers. Then I went to the pen and the tape went down and everyone threw there clothes over the fence. You could have got a compete wardrobe from the discarded stuff. I managed to work my way to very near the front, and I could not believe how many men were relieving themselves, and I thought if they can do it so can I, so I dropped my shorts behind a stand and got a big cheer as the only girl. Still if it is good enough for Paula Radcliffe to do on national TV its good enough for me. Off I went, it took me only 25 seconds to get to the starting line.

I ran some of the course with Di from Dorset Doddlers and Mike from the Gillingham Trotters, Mike had done Paris the week before and was taking Di round.

Mark saw me at 3 Miles where he took my gloves and thermal which I did not want to throw away. He then saw me at 16 miles with his pint, and then he saw me again at 18 and took a picture of my back! Hopeless!! He probably should not have had the pint! Then he saw me once more at Birdcage Walk with the WAC support team.

Up to 19 Miles I was flying, all you experienced runners will know what is coming yes, I died, but luckily at the same time and place as Gordon Ramsay and Ronan Keating.* Shook Gordon by the hand and he wished me good luck. This is the time when everyone is cheering you on and you should be waving to the crowds, not me though I was just looking at the blue line, knew I was on for a good time under 3:45.  I kept going, I am not sure how, but managed to get under 3:40 3:38:54 which was fantastic. I was so focused I did not notice the WACers who where at Birdcage Walk cheering me on.

Today [Monday] my legs ache my hips are sore, and I had to take an aqua aerobics class this evening. Still I have got a qualifying time for next year and was the 42nd over-50 female. And if I could have avoided the three weeks off through injury this year I am sure I could of gone faster. Of course there is always next year.

Thanks to Mark, and Karen from Serpentine, who did me a great training plan, anybody who wants to know what it was just ask Mark when you see him.


* Cathy beat both Gordon Ramsay 3:45:41, and Ronan Keating 3:59:54 (who was finding that in a marathon, life is a rollercoaster!) In fairness to them these are both decent times and shows that they both took the challenge seriously.

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