Jon Braund reports.
This was only the second
year for the NDVM but it deserves to become a permanent fixture. With
just 250 individual runners and 20 relay teams it is relaxed and
friendly, especially with a good WAC turnout to chat to before the
start. It has good facilities and easy parking - although a couple more
loos wouldn’t have gone amiss.
The weather on the day was
overcast and damp, so ideal for a long run. On the down side the 8.30
start was a bit of a shock to the system and not something I am ever
likely to practice. My only previous marathons had been off-road, in
around 3.45 but I hoped to run a steady pace with a goal of around 3.30.
Despite my plans for
steady 8-minute miles, the first was around 7.10, clearly suicidal. The
next was a bit slower, but not a lot. Andy Porter, who I was running
with, suggested that we just do a comfortable speed without bothering
too much about the watch. I was enjoying the company so went for that
and crossed my fingers. We kept measuring our time against the target
and the gap kept getting wider, building up a buffer for when the legs
Around 16 miles, Andy
paused for some refreshment (I had been downing gels regularly) and I
pushed on with just some German heavy metal (Rammstein) in my head for
company. I tried to keep to a similar pace and, as the mile markers kept
pinging by, I passed a few other runners. The remaining distance come
down to a 10k, then a time trial, and the wheels had still not fallen
off although my legs were getting a bit sore. The hills seemed to be at
regular intervals in the last few miles but that did keep it more
I finished in a time that
I was really pleased with, and 30 seconds later Andy Porter steamed in
trying to out-sprint someone he later realised was doing the relay!
Apologies to fellow WACers that I wasn't there to cheer them into the
finish. Once I stopped my legs totally seized up and I felt like I was
doing a Douglas Bader impression.
The route goes through
lovely countryside and pretty villages and is undulating enough to give
variety. The marshals were tremendous, there was a thin scattering of
enthusiastic bystanders either living on the route, or there for friends
and family, but generous with encouragement for all, and there was super
support from the relaying WACers at the changeovers – thanks.
Gillingham Trotters can be very proud of what they have created.
Shield 9th 2:58:49
Andy Horsley 59th
Paul Hougham 76th
Nigel Eldred 105th
Terry Simms 167th
Denise Craddock 186th
WAC were the first team
In the relay the WAC
ladies were 2nd and 3rd ladies teams, and 6th
and 7th out of 20 teams overall. Excellent performances.
Wimborne Ladies 2
Wimborne Ladies 1