Wimborne Athletic Club

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Meon Valley Plod  27 February

Jon Braund reports.

If you ever want an alternative to the Grizzly (something similar but without the witticisms, bagpipers, etc) give this one a go. It's a touch over 20 miles (the course varies each year), mainly tracks, grass, mud (lots of mud) and standing water except for 3 miles of road. It is hilly, but the compensation for this is lovely views and beautiful countryside to run through and enjoy at your own pace. To be honest, the paths were often so rutted that I found myself zig-zagging in a search for anything that was flattish with a bit of grip. I'm sure those who were doing the Terminator the same day will know what I mean. In effort terms, I would put it not that far short of a road marathon, much kinder on the joints and muscles but requiring more sideways control than usual as your feet fly off in all directions. The icing on the cake was meeting Jill Harsent, erstwhile WACer, before the start which was great. (For those who haven't met her, she's the one up to her middle in mud on the WAC website.)

We started on a muddy track with a slight climb, soon were going along the edge of a lumpy grass field, then down another track, onto a bit of road and then came a steep hill that I could only walk up. It continued like this, for the rest of the race and I'm smiling now thinking about it. Although it was sunny at the start there was a bit of a cold wind so after some debate I decided to wear a jacket. So I felt justified and quite happy when it started raining after a couple of hours. Fortunately by the time it started hailing and turned bitter I only had to walk back to the car but I did feel sorry for those still running and especially for the marshals. It is hard, and I was lucky to hang onto my trainers in a couple of boggy bits, but it is really good fun and very friendly.

The Plod is excellently organised, the marshals are brilliantly supportive and cheerful, there are plenty of drink and food stations (rum at 18 miles - I didn't dare), and at the end they pressure wash your shoes and even undo the laces before the tea and cake. The few supporters were also great, especially a trio of young ladies in pink screaming everyone on and who could be heard for at least a mile either side - Jeff I bags that job for the Wimborne 10!

Jon

WACers results

Jon Braund    3:15:05
Jill Harsent   4:27:33

 

 
 
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